Michele du Plessis
According to statistics, 11% of the 1 238 861 households in Mpumalanga, live in shacks or the polite word, informal dwellings. 9% of these houses are occupied rent-free- in most cases an RDP house.
According to Thaba Chweu Local Municipality Media Manager, Puleng Mapheto, their numbers show a backlog of 7500 households, with Ward 3 in Mashishing having the highest number. The total number of people on the waiting list is 4660. Housing demand in terms of the waiting list is 1357 for both Ward 6 and 7.
Many people have applied for RDP houses, many did not qualify and others are still waiting to hear if they qualify. Some are waiting to be placed on the waiting list.
What do you need to qualify for an RDP house?
- You must be an SA citizen with a valid SA ID document;
- You need to be over 21 years of age;
- Your total household income cannot exceed R3500 per month;
- You need to be married or live with your partner or have dependents;
- You cannot have owned property previously or currently anywhere in South Africa – you need to be a first-time homeowner.
These conditions can change at any time. Applicants must realise that they will only be able to get one housing subsidy ever & will never be granted another one. You cannot sell or rent your RDP house – you must stay in the house. You cannot own two or three RDP houses and rent them out; that is not allowed and illegal.
Any RDP owner wanting to extend or renovate their house before eight years of ownership will need to obtain permission from their local municipality. Disabled and elderly applicants receive special treatment and the design of the house may even be changed to accommodate the applicant’s special needs for their disability.
So, in a nutshell: if you are a municipal official or employed in the private sector and your salary is more than the stipulated R3 500, if you are too young or do not have a partner nor children, you won’t qualify.
Mapheto explained the process for deciding on housing recipients. “Ward councillors with Community Development Workers and Ward Committees supported by Human Settlement officials are in the process to decide on recipients. They profile beneficiaries and submit this to the Provincial Department of Human Settlement for verification and approval.”