Minister Madikizela's Closing Remarks at the Inaugural Human Settlements Indaba
Western Cape Human Settlements Minister, Bonginkosi Madikizela, delivered some of the closing remarks and comments on the way forward at the inaugural Western Cape Government Human Settlements Indaba at Cape Town Lodge, Cape Town, on 15 November 2011. Over 100 different organisations from civil society and government were represented.
The indaba is a platform for the strategic direction of the department to be communicated to the participants, and the participants are invited to give constructive input into how the department can more effectively deliver on its strategy. The indaba also closes communications gaps between the department and external stakeholders, allowing for the stakeholders to have a better informed understanding of the human settlements delivery process.
"Thank you to everyone who participated in the Housing Indaba, and to all those people who helped make it run so smoothly. I am convinced that this indaba has been a good thing and one thing has come very clear, which is the gaps in communication between the government and the communities."
"While the government has a responsibility to deliver on its service mandate and the communities have a responsibility to understand the delivery process, we need to understand that communication is not a once-off event, but an ongoing process of sharing information and talking to each other."
"The issue of serviced sites needs to be more clearly understood. The department has many programmes on which we spend our money. The focus on serviced sites means we must reprioritise how we spend our money. A serviced site means that people are given security of tenure, and access to basic services. If we do this, we are able to deal with the challenge of people living informal settlements. We can't expect people to wait for 20-30 years because we want to service sites and build top structures at the same time. It's better that people wait for houses while they have access to basic services."
"The national minister has said that at some point we will have to stop giving free houses. What we need to do is grow a job-creating economy where people can provide for themselves and their family."
"You can't say the government mustn't evict people. What must you do when you develop land for people who have been waiting for 20 years, and then other people come and move in there? Obviously these people must be evicted so the people who have been waiting patiently can be given their houses."