Despair over housing in Mfuleni

Ilitha Peoples Housing Process (PHP) is being accused of corruption and of taking too long to build people houses..

A frustrated Mfuleni resident has accused the People’s Housing Process (PHP) housing project of taking too long to build houses and overlooking some people.

Thamsanqa Meki also claims there is corruption in the Ilitha Housing Project.

The disgruntled resident has now made a call to the Department of Human Settlements to intervene.

The People’s Housing Process was established by government to allow for more community-driven projects in the delivery of houses. It works through partnerships with non-governmental organisations and local community groups.

But Mr Meki has been waiting for his house for more than a year. He said all he has are papers confirming that he was approved to get a proper house.

He believes there are many others who are in the same predicament as he is. “I do not have a proof but I am not alone in this situation. In fact rumours are that there are a lot of us that are conned,” he said.

However, the project has denied the claims, saying there are many houses which still have to be built. The project confirmed that Mr Meki’s home is on the list of houses to be built next year. But Mr Meki said he has been hearing such promises for a long time. He wants the Department of Human Settlements to act against the delay to the housing project. He said numerous calls to the project to build him a house had been fruitless.

Mr Meki said he has been to the Department of Human Settlements a couple of times and had been promised that the department would take measures against the project but until now nothing has happened.

He also said cries to the project to have his house built have been ignored. “We have been approved. Our subsidies have been approved by the government. We have the papers and everything but nothing has happened so far.

“I went to the provincial department and an ultimatum of 14 days was issued to the project but nothing has happened. Mind you it was May 2015,” he said.

He believes certain people are given preferential treatment, despite having only lived in the area for a short while. “This is pure corruption by the project members. “House are built for people who have been here after us. I partly blame the government for not taking our demands seriously. I speak under correction but there is bribery involved in the process,” said the fuming beneficiary.

Community leader Thembile George admitted that Mr Meki was not the only one still waiting for a house to be built.

He claimed that the building processes in Mfuleni are always marred by corruption. “These projects are more into money than doing the business. People need proper and quality houses. One can say the projects are corrupt, something that needs attention from us as leaders and the government. I know a lot of people with the same problem,” he said.

Chairperson of the project, Luleka Masumpa said people are always in a hurry, forgetting that they are not the only ones waiting for houses. She said being approved does not mean the house will be built on the same day. “He is on the list like many others. Yes he is a member of Ilitha. There is a print out that he should bring here and you will find out he never did that. But we have checked, he is on the queue,” she said.

She vehemently denied claims and accusations of corruption within the project. She said all they do is to deliver houses. The provincial Department of Human Settlements said PHP is a City of Cape Town project.

Benedicta van Minnen, the city’s mayoral committee member for human settlements, said the project is one of the best performers in the eastern region of the city. She added that affiliation to any PHP group is the prerogative of the beneficiary and is not the determined by the city.

“The monitoring of the specific construction programme for each beneficiary is not the responsibility of the City. That is determined by the PHP group and the support organisation. The city monitors the quality of the construction of the housing units.

Should an individual approach the city, assistance will be given. An enquiry will be made with the PHP group. However it remains the responsibility of the beneficiary to also enquire from the PHP committee, should there be dissatisfaction,” she explained.