RDP housing rip-off artists are robbing state and taxpayers

04 November 2013 - 02:06 By The Times Editorial
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Even if the government were to build a million low-cost houses a year we doubt that the demand would lessen significantly.

The decision by the Eastern Cape Human Settlements Department to hire researchers to expose those who sell or rent out their RDP houses is to be welcomed.

The Financial and Fiscal Commission, a statutory institution, said recently that it would cost the government up to R800-billion to meet the massive demand for free housing by 2020.

Last year the government built about 113000 low-cost houses.

The problem in many of our municipalities is not the delivery of houses but the inability of the state to track those who have their names put back on the housing application list a few months after being given a house.

The selling or renting of RDP houses should be eradicated.

We will never be able to eradicate informal settlements if delivery is not properly monitored.

We fully agree with the Eastern Cape government that this practice of selling and renting out RDP houses must be stopped.

Recently the DA proposed in its green paper on economic inclusion that the government allow people to trade their RDP houses for cash.

Leon Louw, of the Free Market Foundation, goes further and says that RDP-home owners should be allowed to sell their houses as soon as they get them.

Both arguments fail to take into account that the state uses money from the national budget to build these houses and if the demand is not reduced we are likely to throw money into a widening deep dark hole.

Maybe the government, as Louw argues, should get out of building houses and provide serviced stands.

Our political leaders need to educate voters about the need to stamp out corruption and stop people repeatedly applying for state housing .

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