Department of Human Settlements to Take Control of People's Housing Process Contractors
Minister Madikizela's Speech Excerpts from his Keynote Address at the PHP Information Session
Western Cape Government Human Settlements Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela has stated that the Department will sign contracts with all Peoples Housing Process (PHP) service providers by the end of July 2012, to ensure quality service delivery. Minister Madikizela delivered his comments in the keynote address at an information session for PHP contractors and support organisation at the Fountain Hotel, St Georges Mall, Cape Town on 16 July 2012.
"PHP is a viable route for housing delivery, and is one of our most important programs. However, there are certain things I am not happy about, and some challenges haven't been dealt with. These problems must be dealt with now."
"The first issue is the appointment of the service providers. At the end of the day, the Department must account for taxpayers' money spent. We need to ensure that from now, going forward, the contractual agreement will be between the Department and the contractor, or service provider. Until now the support organisation (a group appointed by the community to represent their interests and liaise with the Department), would form an agreement with the service provider, yet this hasn't always worked. As the Department, we need to ensure consistency of delivery and quality, and we will do this by taking more control of the delivery space."
"I want all contracts for PHP to be changed to being between the Department and the service providers, by the end of July 2012. If any service provider needs to be fired, then they must be fired. They must not be fired because they are not paying bribes. They must be fired if they are not producing good quality work, or if they are causing chaos."
"There are a few rotten apples among the emerging contractors that are giving all the emerging contractors a bad name. The established contractors want us to stop using emerging contractors because they say that they cannot do the work properly. However, one of the reasons I am so passionate about PHP is that it gives an opportunity to emerging contractors to be empowered. PHP also allows beneficiaries to take part in the construction of houses. We believe this enhances the quality of the houses, and the owners are also proud of their houses, and don't usually sell them. People also learn skills they can use elsewhere. All these reasons mean people are empowered to take responsibility."
"We as the Department have the final say as to who gets houses. While the support organisation has a role in getting the names together, what doesn't make sense is that a 21-year old is given a house before a 65-year old. We must make sure that the people who really need houses get them first. One of the complaints about PHP is that it's a form of queue jumping. We can get around this by making sure that the people who get into houses first are the most deserving, and I have the final say on who gets the houses."
"Finally, there is a misconception on how PHP starts. PHP is started by people living on their own land, with title deeds. PHP is for established communities. We have some situations where people are going around collecting names and taking money from people, and then approaching the Department to find them land. Let me make it clear that we will not accept any pressure on the Department to force PHP projects, and nobody needs to pay to be a part of a PHP project."
What is the involvement in the support organisation in appointing contractors?
The support organisation can still suggest a contractor of their choice; however, the Department will do a background check to ensure the contractor is competent, and will sign a contract with the contractor to enforce quality. This is because the support organisation often doesn't have the resources to assess competency and ensure quality, and it's very important that people get houses of good quality.
What are some of the criteria to get a housing subsidy?
You must be a first time beneficiary. If you were married before and received a subsidy with your spouse, you will not receive a subsidy. You must be over 18, and a South African citizen.
Spokesman for Minister Madikizela
Cell: 072 465 5177
Tel: 021 483 6622
Fax: 021 483 3888