Councillors may not register people for houses

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pretoria - Gauteng MEC for Local Government and Housing Kgaogelo Lekgoro has reiterated that ward councillors do not have the authority to register people for houses or allocate houses to any single member of the community.

"There are officials designated to do that job," said the MEC in a statement on Tuesday.

He said no one was allowed to register or to allocate houses in the absence of Department of Local Government and Housing officials.

The MEC was responding to allegations that a group of people were registering certain residents on the housing database in order to receive houses being built by the department.

It is believed that a community in the province was called to attend a meeting called by an independent ward councillor. The councilor apparently told residents to bring their C-Forms to register on the database and to be allocated houses.

Lekgoro warned residents not to test the might of the state by occupying the houses illegally, adding that he would not allow anarchy to settle in communities.

"We will act very swiftly with the law enforcement agencies to ensure that those who have occupied houses illegally are charged," he said.

The department has stepped up security at all projects which are nearing completion, because most people who occupy RDP houses illegally target them while they are awaiting finishing touches.

"It costs the government more time and money to remove people from illegally occupied houses. This is the money that should go towards the building of more houses and the installation and maintenance of bulk water and sewerage services.

"It also deprives those who have patiently waited an opportunity to occupy their houses," said MEC Lekgoro.