IN QUOTES | Lebogang Maile blames 'leadership instability' for Gauteng housing backlog

15 September 2020 - 10:20 By Cenelihle Bhengu
Gauteng human settlements MEC Lebogang Maile says there is a backlog of over 1 million houses in the province.
Gauteng human settlements MEC Lebogang Maile says there is a backlog of over 1 million houses in the province.

Gauteng housing MEC Lebogang Maile says his department is working around the clock to address issues of corruption, sluggish service delivery and housing backlogs.

He said money has been set aside to accelerate the land release programme where qualifying residents will benefit.

Maile held a media briefing on Monday about the state of housing in the province. He blamed the inefficiency of his department on “governance instability and corruption”. 

Here are six quotes from his briefing:

Illegal land occupation

“Occupying — whether private or public — property without permission and illegally can't be tolerated. The state attorney has been instructed to proceed with the identified court order for all high-risk areas.”

Accelerating service delivery 

“We have developed and have been conscientiously implementing a turnaround strategy for the department to address underperformance and the uninspiring attitude so that we can address this most urgent service delivery. The anti-corruption strategy is focused on preventive measures. It has concluded investigations with various officials.”

Housing backlog

“There are 1.2 million houses built in Gauteng. But when you check now, there is close to 1 million people who still need houses. So it's not like we've not done anything, we've built houses. It's a moving target. Every year, about 300,000 people come [to Gauteng] so we are doing our level best.”

Appointing skilled leaders

“Governance and stability have been one of the critical challenges that have negatively affected on the department, with leadership instability being the main problem. We have taken decisive steps to address this matter through the appointment of the head of department who is a seasoned, skilled, proven technocrat with a record of service delivery excellence, clean audits and good governance wherever she led.”

Land programme

“On Wednesday we are releasing 10,000 stands and the policy so that it will be clear for anyone who wants to get land from government on how they will get that land. These are not just small stands and they are serviced. That's the collateral already, you can go to the bank and say 'I've got a stand that I own. Borrow me money to build.' [sic] That's the kind of dignity we want to give to our people.”

Title deeds

“The reason a lot of our people don't have title deeds is because in terms of the law, before the deeds office can issue titles, there is a proclamation of a township that must be done. When a township has been established, usually they put what they call conditions like having storm water, tarred roads, etc. Then you will be able to proclaim that township. It is important for us to proclaim and formalise these townships because we must be able to give people title deeds.”

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