Provincial Human Settlements excluded from Minister De Lille’s strategic project
I note with concern that the National Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille has completely excluded the Western Cape from her Department’s strategic integrated projects.
This Department’s strategic integrated projects were published as a government notice on 24 July 2020 and even though the Western Cape has a housing waiting list of just under 600 000, there is a complete disregard for human settlement projects in the province.
I will be writing to Minister De Lille to enquire why the Western Cape has been overlooked, when a province such as Gauteng is receiving assistance from her Department on 10 human settlements projects.
While Minister De Lille was Mayor in the City of Cape Town, she called on the national government to release the five pieces of well-located land. These consists of Ysterplaat, Culemborg, Wingfield, Denel and Youngsfield, as they are ideal for human settlement development. It is estimated that these five pieces of land can potentially and collectively yield up to 93 000 housing opportunities.
Her sudden silence on these and other pieces of land that should be transferred is concerning. We are also still waiting for her Department to hand over power of attorney (POA) to the Housing Development Agency (HDA), so that relevant statutory processes can commence on the Ithemba land, as it is part of our re-blocking efforts in the Rapid Informal Settlement Support and Upgrade Programme (RISSUP), which is geared to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The HDA wrote to Minister De Lille’s Department in April this year, yet no response is forthcoming.
Minister de Lille and her Department’s exclusion of the Western Cape shows disdain to those residents who have been on the Provincial Housing Demand Database for many years. We therefore trust that Minister De Lille will seek reconsider this decision and work together with the Western Cape Government to help the most vulnerable.
As the Western Cape Government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, utilising technology, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe and sustainable human settlements in an open society.