Parliament, Friday, 28 January 2022- The Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements has urged national, provincial governments together with municipalities to enhance focus on integrated human settlements model as a measure to eradicate hostels. The committee remains of the view that the old hostel model is undesirable and urgency is needed to eradicate these vestiges of the old regime.
The committee has observed that a majority of residents of hostels are largely unemployed and thus require a broad range of interventions to cater for various categories. Furthermore, the committee has called on the department to contribute to social integration by developing family units that are capable to accommodate the entire family and maintain the family structure.
“The reality is that there is high unemployment rate in Mamelodi and South Africa in general, thus hostels are populated by largely unemployed residents. This impacts on the ability to collect rental, leading to dilapidation and non-maintenance,” said Ms Machwene Semenya, the Chairperson of the committee.
The committee has also called for collaboration between the municipality and the residents of the hostels and the broader community to reduce friction between hostel dwellers and the community. In line with this, the committee has reiterated the call for councillors to refrain from participation in the beneficiary list administration process because the participation of councillors has potential of adding perceptions of bias on the process. “We have argued that councillors must play a purely oversight role in the administration of the list. Furthermore, officials must be monitored to ensure that the process is free of any basis,” Ms Semenya argued.
With regards to the Temporary Residential Units at Mamelodi Hostel, the committee welcomes the intention behind the development and implementation of these TRUs as part of the Covid-19 decongestion intervention. Despite this, the committee called for a proper process followed by clear implementation of prescripts of the process in allocation of the TRUs. The committee has called for a comprehensive report indicating if the intentions of the interventions were achieved.
Meanwhile, the committee appreciates the challenge of the availability of land that the City and government in general can use in the development of infrastructure for housing opportunities for the people. The committee has urged the municipality to work together with the Valuer General to ensure that land is purchased at price and not overpriced.
With regards to the inner city mega project, the committee appreciated the quality of workmanship at the site and welcome the information that local businesses have participated in the development. But the committee has called for the completion of Phase 1 of the project to ensure the security of tenure for the people of Tshwane.
The committee has requested a detailed plan from the City of Tshwane with a clear strategy on how they can leverage abandoned buildings such as Schubart Park and Kruger Park as social housing initiatives to alleviate the hunger for housing in Tshwane.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SETTLEMENTS. MS MACHWENE SEMENYA.
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