The Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements has welcomed Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi’s recommitment to corruption-free service delivery and the eradication of poor performance in the delivery of sustainable and impactful human settlements across the country.

Committee chairperson, Machwene Semenya, said the committee appreciates the strong emphasis on the eradication of corruption and poor workmanship.

“We welcome this re-emphasis on good governance, which is the bedrock of quality service delivery. We remain cognisant that access to housing is a constitutional obligation that restores the dignity of the poorest of the poor in our country,” Semenya said.

Semenya said the effective functioning of the Human Settlements portfolio has been hampered by longstanding allegations of corruption within the entire value chain. These include illegal occupation of incomplete houses, manipulation of beneficiary lists and in many cases, poor quality houses given to people.

The committee has urged the Department of Human Settlements to introduce effective and efficient project management processes across the board to undercut the escalation of costs, as a result of delayed projects.

The committee has also committed to enhancing and focusing its oversight which is an enabler to quality service delivery.

In line with this, the committee has resolved to give the Minister and the department some space to introduce initiatives aimed at unblocking stalled projects across the country.

“The committee will, within a reasonable time, assess whether the interventions are bearing fruit for the benefit of beneficiaries,” the chairperson said.

The committee highlighted the need for collaboration across all levels of government, if the intentions of the department are to be achieved.

It also underscored the need for comprehensive community engagement, as well as transparency regarding beneficiary lists, which will engender an environment of trust between the department and beneficiaries.

The committee has committed to focusing its oversight work towards ensuring that the delivery of quality human settlements.

“One of the priority focus areas will be the oversight over innovative interventions to unlock blockages in the delivery of quality housing to the people,” Semenya said.

Board appointments

Meanwhile, the committee welcomed the swift appointment of various boards of entities reporting to the department of Human Settlements.

“It is an appreciation of the need for good governance across the value chain,” Semenya said.

Cabinet appointed the Board of Directors of the Housing Development Agency, Council of the Social Housing Regulatory Authority, Board of Directors of the National Home Builders Registration Council, Board of Directors of the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority, Board of Directors of the Community Schemes Ombud Service, as well as the Board of Directors of the Construction Industry Development.

The committee wished the boards well in the discharge of their responsibilities.

Source: South African Government News Agency