UNHAPPY: Makhaza backyarder Ncumisa Mantashe tells human settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, right, how she feels about the housing issue. Photo: WCN
Human settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela has put the Ithembalabantu housing project on hold again, after it eventually started last Thursday.
The 163-unit housing project has been the subject of protests for weeks as backyard tenants in the area claim they were bumped off the beneficiary list.
The Cape Town High Court last Wednesday ordered that construction resumes and forbade protesters from hindering work on the housing project site. But after work started the following day, Madikizela ordered that it be stopped.
Speaking in Makhaza at the weekend, Madikizela said he ordered work to stop so that an investigation could be conducted into the allegations of corruption the backyard tenants had made.
He said he would examine the original beneficiary list and take action against those who stood to occupy state houses illegally. “I am still following up the allegations of corruption.
“We have the list of original beneficiaries since 2004. I’ll go door to door to verify the authenticity of the names (on the list).”
Madikizela was in Makhaza to address a community meeting on the Ithembalabantu housing issue. The meeting took place in an open field and was attended by about 200 people.
At first the backyard tenants in the crowd heckled Madikizela, calling him a liar. They later gave him a chance to address them.
The backyarders accused previous ward councillor Thobile Ludidi of selling their plots to “outsiders”.
Resident Mbulelo Mkhumelwana accused Madikizela and DA MP Masizole Mnqasela of dividing the community. “You only interfere when it’s suits you,” he said.
Another resident, Primrose Merhani, accused Mnqasela of abetting corruption in housing. She said Mnqasela had been addressing meetings and telling people they would get houses.
“We’re tired of corruption in Makhaza. We want the project to stop until the investigation is finalised,” Merhani said. “I have been living in a shack since 1992 and (it) is leaking.”
Madikizela admitted to the crowd that political issues divided leaders and stood in the way of effective service delivery. “However, political differences would be put aside so that corruption could tackled head on,” he said.
He urged anyone with proof of corruption regarding the housing project to produce it. – WCN