The Herald Online **News**

The Herald Online **News**

ANC MPL Phila Nkayi launched a stinging attack on the standard of housing delivered by government saying that in terms of the required quality “we have not started to build houses and that is the reality”.
Speaking during a debate on an inspection of houses in the Cacadu district municipality that found the quality of houses “leaves much to be desired”. Nkayi said when members of the housing committee asked people about their houses they responded by asking: “Could you live here?” This, he said, was an indictment.
Housing MEC Thobile Mhlahlo was not present during the debate and Public Works MEC Christian Martin was unable to say where he was.
Nkayi said the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) required that houses provide protection from the weather, privacy, sanitary facilities, storm-water drains and electricity, but “all the houses we visited lacked a number of these things”.
He said the DA had pointed to the houses in Joe Slovo as an example of the kind of houses that were required. These were part of a pilot project he said, adding that they did not have electricity, fencing and gutters, and this meant they were not complete.
“The Freedom Charter says there must be houses, security and comfort. Where there is no electricity there cannot be comfort and security.”
Nkayi said when the committee had visited housing projects “we asked people their own opinions”.
“ Many people said: ‘Why are you asking us – the question we want to ask you is whether you can live here?‘ That is an indictment on us and because the people are saying ‘you have not even begun to build houses‘.”
The reality, Nkayi added, was that “we have increased the backlog. We have not started to build houses and that is the reality.”
Stating that South Africans were “very weak” in self-criticism, he said it needed to be recognised that “because we, the ANC, are in government people look to us to rectify their problems because they have no hope but the ANC”.
In an attack on those considering a new party expected to be established by former ANC national chairman Mosiuoa Lekota, he said: “For those who entertain the idea that because there are problems we are going to leave the ANC, we would ask what have you done to rectify the houses you have built since 1994 – you must answer that question.”
He proposed that the provincial government should be centrally involved in the process of housing delivery, adding that housing must be inclusive and “take into account the aspirations of the people”.
“Anyone who does not take responsibility for the task given them must step aside – we need to be tough on this – we must say to communities: development cannot take place if you are just spectators.”
Replying to the debate, Martin admitted there were problems. “We want to ask you to help us to help you. I admit that we have problems and we have made mistakes, and I ask you to give us the opportunity to rectify our own mistakes.”

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