Renting, sale of RDP houses major headache for Metro

Thursday, August 4, 2011
By: 
Sithembele Sakati

East London - The sale and renting out of RDP homes is becoming a major headache for one Eastern Cape municipality.

Buffalo City Metro Municipality (BCMM) spokesperson, Samkelo Gqeba, said the metro has received a number of complaints about recipients of RDP houses profiting illegally from their subsidised homes.

"As part of its housing education campaigns, the metro discourages people from selling or renting because this impacts negatively on government's efforts to curb informal settlements," said Gqeba.

He said of major concern is what is going to happen when work is finally complete on two major housing projects in the metro, in Reeston and Mdantsane. The low-cost housing projects are a joint venture between the metro and the provincial Human Settlements Department.

He said people that abuse the housing subsidy scheme can be prosecuted under sections 10A and 10B of the Housing Act 107 of 1997, which makes it illegal for beneficiaries to sell or let subsidised low-cost. Recipients only receive full property titles eight years after they have occupied the houses.

Reeston Location shack dweller, Nombaliso Sindaphi, 57, said he knows of many people who don't want to live in their RDP houses and who have sold them or rented them out.

"It makes me angry to see recipients rent out the houses. I applied for an RDP house more than 10 years ago and I'm still living in a shack," said Sindaphi.

Sanele Ngcwalisa, 30, said people in Reeston are renting out their houses because it's inconvenient for them to live there.

"Some of the recipients have lived in Mdantsane for more than 15 years and get given a house in Reeston. No one wants to move to a new area after such a long time," said Ngcwalisa.