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We’ll reward law-abiding citizens waiting for homes – Western Cape MEC

02 December 2016 - 17:37 By Aphiwe Deklerk
Bonginkosi Madikizela. File photo
Bonginkosi Madikizela. File photo
Image: Gallo Images/Foto24

The days of prioritising free housing for illegal land invaders may soon be over if the Western Cape government has its way.

The MEC for Human Settlements‚ Bonginkosi Madikizela‚ said the time had come to stop rewarding people who break the law at the expense of citizens who have been on housing waiting lists for decades.

He was speaking on Friday during an interactive session with the media about his department’s plans.

Madikizela said land invaders were often prioritised because of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction From and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act‚ which forces the government to find alternative accommodation for evicted “squatters”.

He said the Act needed to be revisited because it was being abused. Law abiding citizens‚ who deserve housing‚ are disadvantaged as a result.

“In South Africa you have this disturbing phenomenon where if you are a hard worker‚ you are a law abiding citizen‚ you are contributing to the fiscus‚ you get punished for that‚” he said.

“If you are on the wrong side of the law ...you get all forms of subsidies. Now that is a very disturbing phenomenon.”

He said his department planned to provide incentives for law abiding citizens who‚ for example‚ choose to rent land and live as backyarders.

“If you break the law‚ there must be no obligation from the state to incentivise you‚” he added.

Madikizela also criticised municipalities for poor planning that has resulted in youths obtaining RDP houses while elders‚ who have been on the waiting list for more than 20 years‚ remained homeless or in shacks.

He said the province was looking at providing housing opportunities that will benefit working people who can’t afford bonds but are not poor enough to get an RDP house.

Currently the province has such opportunities‚ which he calls “catalytic projects”‚ in municipalities such as the City of Cape Town‚ Saldanha Bay and Paarl.

Between now and 2022‚ his department has budgeted R15-billion to provide 74 000 housing opportunities and 51 000 of those will be in Cape Town.

Informal settlements along the N2 opposite the airport are also on the list to benefit from the 51 000 housing opportunities which will cost R10-billion.