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ANC CALLS FOR A MEETING WITH PROVINCIAL HOUSING BOARD RE: FUNDING CRISIS

ANC CALLS FOR A MEETING WITH PROVINCIAL HOUSING BOARD RE: FUNDING CRISIS

8 December 1999

The ANC Western Cape has called for a meeting with the newly appointed provincial housing and development board to discuss the funding crisis in the province. Commenting on the issue, ANC spokesperson on housing in the provincial legislature, Cameron Dugmore, said;

"The provincial government must take some responsibility for the crisis. To have allowed a policy of first come first serve is not only illogical, but has actually worsened the crisis for those areas most in need of housing. Clearly there are insufficient funds to wipe out the backlog overnight but there has been no provincial policy to deal with the acute backlog in the metropolitan area of Cape Town. To simply say that councils in the metro have delayed in submitting applications does not take us anywhere.

"It was the NP provincial government which delayed the elections in the metro when they went to court to try and stop Khayelitsha being included into the Tygerbarg municipality. This cost the taxpayers R5 million in legal costs and delayed the metro elections for over 6 months.

"As the ANC we believe that a clear policy must be developed to allocate funds to those local authorities where the need is greatest. Thus, urban areas in the metro and non-metro should be allocated funds based on the housing backlog there.

"This should be done in terms of the 2000/2001 budget. If municipalities are informed that they will receive funds from the 2000/2001 budget, they will then be in a position to organise bridging finance. This will allow projects to continue.

"The ANC is also concerned that insufficient funds are being allocated to the people's housing process. The Sinako project, which is one of many projects where the community are building their own houses, have been informed that there is no funding. The previous housing board has allocated less than 10% of the allocation to the people's housing process.

"We are also disturbed that despite a land audit having been completed, the provincial government has not yet identified specific land for rapid land release. At the same time the Premier has been pushing for an anti-squatting unit. While the ANC is strongly opposed to land invasions, the delays by the province in identifying land are prepared to wait for formal housing provided they have access to land with secure title. This is an urgent priority in the metro.

"We have thus decided to request a meeting with the Provincial Housing Board to raise our concerns and submit our proposals.

Further details contact Cameron Dugmore on 082 894 7553

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