DA probes Unit P housing list chaos

Fact-finding mission now under way after persistent graft claims

One of the two MP's sent by the DA Solly Malatsi to investigate the allegations of corruption of housing in Mdantsane's Unit P together with Mbulelo Bara
One of the two MP's sent by the DA Solly Malatsi to investigate the allegations of corruption of housing in Mdantsane's Unit P together with Mbulelo Bara

The DA has sent two MPs, Solly Malatsi and Mbulelo Bara, to East London to investigate allegations of corruption and manipulation of housing lists levelled against local authorities in Mdantsane’s Unit P.

Malatsi said there was an urgent need for the national department of human settlements to create and maintain a single, transparent system. He said in its current form, the system was helped only those with money and connections.

“In Unit P just outside Mdantsane, RDP houses are sold by officials known to the community. Others paid money but never even got those houses.

“Elsewhere in the Eastern Cape [in another township], the ward councillor is said to be giving houses to friends and relatives. Rightful beneficiaries from Zwelitsha have been crying with no help,” said Malatsi.

Unit P has been the site of violent protests and illegal occupation of houses as Buffalo City Metro struggles to provide a clear process of how to award the houses.

The DA’s Sanele Magaqa, who sits on the human settlements portfolio committee in the Bhisho legislature, urged the community to assist the DA by coming forward with information on illegal occupations. He said the DA was committed to fight what it called injustice.

“At the legislature I have submitted questions. Also, at the national assembly we have submitted questions on the issues we have found at Unit P and in other areas in BCM. When we have [answers], we will give feedback,” said Magaqa.

The department, responding to a written parliamentary response report last year, confirmed that 154 housing units in BCM had remained vacant since 2013. Another 79 houses in Elundini and 25 in Jamestown had been unoccupied for eight years.

The housing backlog in the Eastern Cape stands at an estimated 400,000 units, according to the official account.

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