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Extension 10: Corruption, nepotism and illegal occupation

Michele du Plessis

The RDP houses in Sabie, Extension 10, is still illegally occupied (according to the documentation) without any running water, electricity or a sewage system. It also seems that these problems will not be resolved soon.

In a letter addressed to the MEC of Human Settlement and Housing, dated 11 December 2019, there is a reference to a letter sent by the Acting Unit Manager in 2017 regarding the corruption happening with the allocation of RDP houses in Extension 10, Sabie. The letter asked for an investigation into the matter.

As GPS News received many complaints and cries for help from people who want to know what is happening with the houses, we sent enquiries to TCLM. The following is some of the replies:

QUESTION: On 20 August 2018, the houses were officially handed over to beneficiaries but the houses had no running water, electricity or a sewage system. Has this been rectified?

ANSWER: The Municipality did not allocate any house or houses to beneficiaries in Extension 10 on the 20th August 2018. The project was not complete as services such as running water, sewer and electricity were not provided. The Municipality is still in process of acquiring funds to finalise the project so that it is habitable.

Q: Different lists of beneficiaries were released to the public, causing concern. The houses were allocated to different people per house, causing violent clashes. The municipality then amended the lists and eviction notices were issued. GPS News has the original list of recipients. According to the court order, the houses had to be vacated before 30 November 2019. Needless to say, the houses are still occupied. The court order also stated that if the respondents failed to vacate the RDP house, the sheriff, police officers and/or red ants must evict the occupiers. Nothing has happened so far. What does TCLM intend to do about the situation?

A: Evictions will only be carried after subsequent consultation with all key stakeholders by the Sheriff. Some of the stakeholders to be consulted include SAPS, Department of Social Services, Home Affairs, Department of Health, the RED ANTS, etc.

Q: On the original list, there is also a list of people that were declined. Surnames of Du Preez, Barton, Smith, Wallace and Stevens appear on this list. Are RDP houses not built for the benefit of all the South African citizens in need, regardless of race, gender, sex, etc. who qualify?

A: There are several reasons why a person may not qualify or be approved for an RDP house according to the prescripts of the Human Settlement Department. With regards to the people, you have identified in the list of your questions an investigation will have to be done in consultation with the Human Settlement Department to establish the reasons.

Q: The officials who are accused of flouting the process are as follows: Community Development Worker from Sabie employed by Cogta; Public Liaison Officer employed by TCLM; Housing officials employed by TCLM; Ward Committee Members and other unknown community members, according to the letter signed by Mr M.E. Malungana, Acting Municipal Manager, 29/3/2017. Was there any investigation into these accusations? What was the outcome?

A: The Municipality is not aware of such accusations. However, if there are valid complaints about officials who are alleged to have not performed their duties, such must be brought to the attention of the Municipal Manager so that corrective action can be taken, as this is not in the interest of good governance.

Q: According to reliable sources, the Sabie SAPS Station Commander refuses to assist with the eviction of the occupiers. Is that true and if yes, why won’t he assist?

A: It is not true that the station commander does not want to help but want to follow due to required procedure that is informed by the office of the Sheriff as entrusted to carry out this eviction.

No time frame can be given by TCLM regarding the resolution of the situation.

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