2017/03/03 Thembisa Shologu
MEC for Human Settlements, Paul Mashatile said the destruction of the unoccupied residential apartments at the Dube hostel in Soweto denied about 416 households of a better life.
Following his visit to inspect status of construction and assess challenges facing the hostel residents on Wednesday, MEC Mashatile said his Department will work with the City of Johannesburg to speed up allocation and repairs of the damaged residential apartments.
Unknown vandals stripped off the roof, doors, windows already fixed in the 416 residential apartment units at the hostel, which were unoccupied following a rent payment dispute between some residents and government.
“A lot of units were built but because people were not allocated they have been vandalised. We need to fix the place and allocate people to their apartments. We transferred the hostels to the City of Johannesburg. What we will do as the province is to assist them to rebuild the place and allocate them to beneficiaries,” said Mashatile.
During his visit to Dube, Mzimhlophe and Diepkloof hostels, Mashatile was accompanied by the IFP Member of Provincial Legislature, Bonginkosi Dlamini, Head of Department, Matilda Gasela and officials from the City of Johannesburg.
Mashatile said the issue of rentals, which was a dispute will be resolved as many people could not afford to pay rent and were therefore not allocated apartments.
Mashatile said he was going to have discussion with the Member of Mayoral Committee (MMC) of housing in Joburg, Mzobanzi Ntuli, so that people can be allocated houses as they are being fixed, know their units and take responsibility of safeguarding them.
“We make a call to the people of Gauteng not to destroy properties because we are building them for you. But we are aware that it is not the beneficiaries who destroy these properties but people from far with trucks to steal as nobody is protecting the place.
“We urge people to stop doing it as it is not constructive. It costs us a lot of money to guard places and repairing them,” said Mashatile.