Human Settlements Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi, has urged the residents of Soweto to collaborate with government to accelerate service delivery.
Kubayi made the call during a community Imbizo and Service Fair, held at Elkah Cricket Stadium in Rockville, Soweto, on Thursday.
The Minister and Deputy Minister, Pam Tshwete - together with Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Deputy Minister, Parks Tau; Gauteng Human Settlements and Infrastructure Development MEC, Lebogang Maile, and the City of Joburg representatives attended an imbizo with Soweto community members to address various issues related to human settlements.
Among the issues raised by the community during the imbizo included the housing backlog, sale and renting of government subsidised houses to illegal foreigners, title deeds backlog, interventions for backyard dwellers, blocked projects and delays in housing allocation to beneficiaries, amongst others.
Kubayi said the department's primary aim for the Soweto imbizo was to close all the communication gaps between community members and the human settlements sector from all spheres of government.
Kubayi said government is working to ensure that no one is left behind in the provision of sustainable housing.
She emphasised the need for communities to report criminals who sell government-subsidised homes using fake social media accounts, government or departmental logos, or even impersonating political figures.
“The public must also immediately report fraud and corruption to law enforcement authorities. If you pay money, you are then part of a criminal activity.
“We have and will continue to arrest officials who abuse their powers to advance their narrow interest at the expense of vulnerable communities,” Kubayi said.
The Minister said government continues to make strides in providing decent and affordable housing, using various subsidy options, including First Home Finance, for people earning between R3 501 and R22 000 per month, and Breaking New Ground for people earning R3 500 and less.
“Since 1994, over a million housing opportunities have been created for the people of Gauteng through the delivery of over 300 000 serviced sites and over 900 000 housing units,” Kubayi said.
The department will next week present its 2023/2024 Budget Vote, detailing the priorities for the current financial year. These include budget allocation to upgrade informal settlements and government plans to assist the missing middle to buy or build houses.
Source: South African Government News Agency