Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has vowed to eradicate the deadly asbestos roofs peering from homes in Tembisa, in Ekurhuleni.
Dlodlo made the commitment after witnessing houses with asbestos roofs during her Imbizo Focus Week visit on Friday. The Minister said she would urgently raise the matter with Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Dikgang Moila and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.
“I’m hearing this for the first time today. I am aware that an audit was done on this and I’ve asked for that information to be provided to me so I can speak to the Gauteng Human Settlements MEC and the Health Minister about this,” she said.
She said she would urge Moila to fast-track the eradication of the asbestos roofs, while the national department would lead a campaign to test residents for illnesses related to the detrimental effects of asbestos.
“If this audit outcome was made available to government three years ago, as alleged by councillors, I don’t understand why this is still happening,” she said.
One of the families she visited indicated that they had lost a relative from tuberculosis a few years ago.
“If that’s the problem in one house, how wide is this health issue in the area? This is unacceptable. I am a person who follows up on her promises because I am here to work and address community concerns,” she said.
Dlodlo said such engagements were critical to measure the performance of government departments.
“I’m going to measure every department on the basis of what I get from this engagement. I will check if their service delivery improvement plans talk to the needs of the communities. As I’ve indicated, I’m not here to campaign but here to do work as a Minister,” she said.
“I will not promise that I have solutions to your problems, I don’t want to mislead you. What I will do is I will ensure that every concern receives the attention it deserves. I will raise the issues with the Mayor, Premier and my counterparts at national government.”
Dlodlo said while officials from the department would return to the area next month to attend to some of the issues raised during today’s public engagement, she herself would be back in the area early next year.
Another matter that required urgent intervention was some homes had no electricity. In this regard, she said alternative sources of energy, such as solar, needed to be explored.
“We can’t keep giving our voters empty promises, at some point we have to do the work we are paid to do. We get paid to assist you. However, we at provincial and national level we have to meet the councillors halfway and give them support,” she said.
“It’s not good to see all these problems yet budgets are returned to national treasury at the end of every financial year. The reason that it happens is because there are no conducive plans that have been developed to implement the hopes and aspirations of our people. Secondly, it could be because we have hired the officials with the necessary skills. Sometimes it’s because people don’t want to work.”
At the event, 100 residents received their title deeds. – SAnews.gov.za