Two Joburg housing officials along with two accomplices have been arrested on charges of fraud and corruption linked to a syndicate involving land and RDP houses. They have appeared in court and were released on R5000 bail each. The case has been postponed to 11 April 2017.
A syndicate working in collusion with the Department of Housing, municipal officials and a councillor started allocating stands to people at a fee wherein unsuspecting individuals bought the said stands. A similar modus operandi applied to the allocation of RDP houses.
Many of the victims have already constructed houses on illegally sold land.
The syndicate’s main target were people who did not qualify for home loans and/or earned a salary that is outside the bracket of legible beneficiaries.
It is disgraceful that officials and politicians were taking advantage of our people’s desperation for their own enrichment.
The arrests follow a thorough investigation conducted by the City’s anti-corruption unit, headed by General Shadrack Sibiya, who worked closely with the HAWKS and the prosecuting authority to ensure that these arrests were effected. I would like to commend all involved for their excellent work in turning the tide on corruption in our city.
I am informed that these arrests are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to housing corruption in the City and we expect a number of further arrests to be made in the near future.
The City of Johannesburg faces major housing challenges. This administration has inherited a housing backlog of over 300 000 units and the City is only able to build an estimated 3500 houses per year. This means that it will take almost a century to catch up with the current backlog alone. This is simply unsustainable and it is clear that something has to change in our approach if we are to ensure that our people’s right to adequate housing is realised.
For the first time in our City’s history we have completed a housing list. This list is currently being audited to ensure that its integrity is beyond reproach. Once this process has been finalised I will announce how this list will be made publicly available so as to ensure that this list cannot be abused.
Johannesburg has over 3100 incomplete housing units and in our adjustment budget, we committed to completing 1841 of these Housing Units in this financial year. R546 million will be used to electrify these previously incomplete units.
In addition we have allocated R219 million to the Johannesburg Social Housing Company for the purpose of purchasing buildings in the inner city which will be refurbished and converted into low cost rental stock for 1164 families.
My administration is committed to finding sustainable solutions to our housing challenges. Far too many of our residents have waited far too long to receive dignified housing and we are committed to turning things around.
We have a zero tolerance approach to corruption and we will not rest until those who steal from our people and use public office for personal enrichment are arrested and put behind bars.
Cllr Herman Mashaba
City of Johannesburg