DA Council sells four RDP houses for a total of R18091,99

DA Council sells four RDP houses for a total of R18091,99

29 January 2001

The ANC in the Western Cape has condemned the DA council in Malmesbury for selling 4 RDP houses in the Riebeeck Kasteel area on auction in November and December last year.

The ANC will be moving a motion at the council meeting this afternoon (15h00) calling on the council to set aside the sales and enter negotiations to compensate the buyer. The buyer now wants to evict the four occupants of the houses.

The ANC is also calling for a full investigation of the process by which the houses were sold.

The National Government is in the process of amending the Housing Act to prohibit the sale of RDP houses and the National Minister has issued a directive to all Provincial Housing MEC`s and Local councils not to sell RDP houses. Despite this, a number of NNP/DP/DA councils have proceeded to auction RDP houses to recover monies owed to them by the occupants.

In the case of Malmesbury, it has now emerged that the council sold RDP houses on auction while some of the occupants had in fact made arrangements to pay off the arrears. What is most shocking is the fact that legal costs in most cases made up over half of the selling price.

The houses sold were:

Mimosa Street 137 - R 4654.66 (of which R1331.20 were legal costs)
Mimosa 1081 - R3268,11 (of which R2038,11 were legal costs)
Mimosa 1071 - R7534,14 (of which R4896,74 were legal costs)
Watsonia 1193 - R2635,08 (of which R1494,94 were legal costs)

Commenting ANC spokesperson on housing in the provincial legislature Cameron Dugmore said;

"We support the call by the Riebeeck Kasteel Crisis Committee that the council sets aside these auctions. It is unaccepatble that the Council has proceeded to sell these houses on auction in direct contravention of Government policy. The State invests about R17 000 to build a single RDP house and here we have the council selling four houses for a total price of R18 000 . The fact that legal fees is the single biggest component of the price is shocking. We have information that some of the residents had in fact made arrangements to pay off arrears owed. It also appears that the auctions were never advertised in the local media.

"I will be calling for a full enquiry into the sale of RDP houses by the provincial Legislature standing committee on governmental affairs. We cannot allow practices to continue which simply add to the problem of homelessness.

"We fully support the culture of payment but it is up to the councils to put in place an indigent policy which takes into account the plight of the poor."

Further information contact:
Riaan Adonis (022 448 1156) Crisis committee
Cathy Solomons (082 474 9203) ANC councillor, Malmesbury
Cameron Dugmore (082 894 7553) ANC Spokesperson on Housing in Legislature