North West Human Settlements MEC, Lina Miga, has urged officials in the department to speed up incomplete housing projects.
Miga said the department has in the past three years experienced a number of challenges, including developers abandoning sites due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other internal administrative challenges.
She said these challenges have led to many projects being left incomplete and as a result, the beneficiaries, especially elderly people, are left vulnerable.
“In most projects, structures were left incomplete, while with others, only foundations were constructed,” Miga said.
The MEC said urgent attention is needed to address this challenge, emphasising that it is the responsibility of her department to build houses for eligible beneficiaries.
She urged officials within the department to work around the clock to ensure that such projects are completed as soon as possible.
She also called on contractors to work speedily to make sure that the beneficiaries receive houses that are of good quality.
“It is my department’s responsibility to ensure that eligible beneficiaries receive houses with basic amenities. The department and contractors must work closely with municipalities and local councillors to make sure that we deliver on our mandate. Such challenges are easily avoided.
“We must also prioritise the elderly, women and other vulnerable groups as we continue to correct the mistakes of the past,” Miga said.
One of the beneficiaries visited by the MEC, Mme Maria Tats, said she was pleased to receive news that her house will be completed soon.
Tats, who stays alone, was left stranded in her shack many years ago. Community caregivers visis her from time to time to assist with house duties, and ensure that she takes her medication properly.
“It has been almost three years since this structure has been standing incomplete. The MEC’s visit gives me hope and I believe and trust that soon, I will be moving into my house. I thank her [Miga] for her generous gesture and making sure that my hopes and dreams come true,” said Tats.
Miga said the department has already conducted an audit of blocked projects across the province, and an undertaking has already been made to start unblocking most of them over the next few years.