Friday 23rd Aug 2019

Marvin Charles - Cape Argus - 

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has accused the DA leadership in the province of stonewalling housing development plans in budget speech. Picture: KATLHOLO MAIFADI/GCIS -

Cape Town - Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has accused the DA leadership in the province of stonewalling housing development plans.

“We have had a relationship with public works in the province when the ANC was in government and we had identified pieces of land which had then been transferred to our housing development agency to enable us to build houses. Unfortunately it was at the end of a term in which the ANC was in government and as soon as the DA came into government the first thing they did was to annul that agreement that we’d signed,” Sisulu said.
 
Delivering her budget vote speech in Parliament last week, she used the opportunity to slam the DA in the province for reversing the decisions of the ANC administration in 2009. “I am giving notice that we will expropriate the land that was legally transferred to the housing development agency,” she said.

ANC provincial legislature member Cameron Dugmore said: “The minister is correct and has hit the nail on the head; there has been no movement over the last 15 years by the province and the City to reverse apartheid spatial planning and integrate communities.”

It’s not the first time the DA has been criticised over the housing crisis in the province. In the months leading up to the May elections, a war of words erupted between President Cyril Ramaphosa and the DA after he lambasted the party for the province’s housing crisis. On the election campaign trail, he had said the DA had returned R1.7billion meant for housing.

Human Settlements Mayco member Malusi Booi said: “There are no projects that we are stalling. It’s just a mischievous statement and unacceptable. We are spending R2.7bn on housing projects.”

Human Settlements MEC Tertius Simmers is expected to have a press conference, where he will clarify the housing allocation criteria and who is being prioritised. “As the Western Cape government, we remain committed to accelerate human settlement delivery,” he said.
 
DA provincial leader Bonginkosi Madikizela has dismissed Sisulu’s remark: “What I think people need to start doing is look at the evidence and compare us to the other provinces under the leadership of the ANC. She (Sisulu) is well aware we’re the only province that will make her look good. Our human settlements department has been doing phenomenal work and she’s just politicking,” he said.
 
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Cape Argus

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