MEC tells council to get its act together

Ms Flora Maboa-Boltman (executive mayor of the Govan Mbeki Municipality) and Mr Speedy Mashilo (MEC of the Department Human Settlement) outside the Govan Mbeki Municipal offices.

The lack of serviced land, mismanagement of beneficiary lists and the disconcerting practice of allocating houses to non-qualifying beneficiaries are among the issues that are affecting the Govan Mbeki Municipality.

The MEC for Human Settlement, Mr Speedy Mashilo, recently organised a weekend meeting to establish the extent of the challenges and devise sound interventions in response to the ever growing concerns and demand for houses in one of the province’s strategic municipalities which includes Secunda.

This meeting came after Mr Mashilo convened the meeting after a recent public engagement event, Imbizo, with community members from all parts of the municipality.

During the recent Imbizo, Mr Mashilo said all the community’s challenges will be consolidated and processed accordingly with the municipality.

Mr Mashilo conceded that the department is still grappling with illegal occupants of some of the government’s low cost houses, land invasions, the selling of houses among others, and that councillors must ensure the community’s concerns are addressed.

“These are the people we rely on daily. They must be accustomed to every issue emanating from the ground so that the department and the

municipality are able to appropriately allocate services to the needy.”

Mr Mashilo added that many of the problems are not as a result of poor coordination by councillors, but that of MMCs.

“It is not good to see young girls occupying these houses while an elderly person or persons living with a disability are constantly found in the queue for houses.

“The department has policies that guide everyone of us to prioritise these services and that can not be violated,” emphasised Mr Mashilo.

After the weekend meeting he had a robust meeting with political and administrative leaders of the Govan Mbeki Municipality which exposed a myriad of challenges bedevilling human settlement development in the municipality.

Ms Flora Maboa-Boltman, executive mayor of the Govan Mbeki Municipality, assured those attending the meeting that the municipality will work tirelessly to ensure there is enough land available and assist the department to service the sites to open space for more development and the upgrading of informal settlements in the area.

Mr Mashilo warned the municipality to get its act together or else the department will re-direct the services to other municipalities that are ready and have their sites serviced.


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Sifiso Mathebula

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