It's time the state re-looked at its RDP housing policy
The Times Editorial: Policy decisions by the government to help poor people to acquire low-cost housing have changed the lives of many for the better. But the roll-out needs to be looked at to determine whether this empowers recipients in the long run.
Earlier this week, the DA proposed radical changes to the Housing Act that would allow owners of RDP houses to sell off quicker than the current legislation allows.
The party, however, also argues that, once the owners have sold their RDP houses, they should not be allowed to reapply for another state-subsidised house.
At present, beneficiaries of RDP houses can only sell them after eight years.
Leon Louw of the Free Market Foundation says the current probation period, including the DA's proposed amendments, places RDP owners - mostly black - in an untenable position.
"You can be unemployed and live in a state-subsidised house. If you find a job elsewhere, you both have to abandon your most valuable asset and not get another one or stay and lose the job.It's house arrest."
The question that we should ask is how can we plug the hole that allows individuals to own more than five RDP houses?
The current housing waiting list system is in a shambles and we will never be in a position to reduce and finally eradicate informal settlements. We should also look at how we can stop people from selling their homes and then moving to another province, where they demand to be provided with another state-subsidised house.
If we are to see progress and change the lives of the poor, government systems should be corruption-free.
We fully agree with Louw that the government should consider providing people with serviced stands rather than giving them fully built houses.
With many people moving to cities and the government unable to deal with corruption in the housing sector, informal settlements are likely to continue mushrooming.