[LISTEN] Housing at the centre of issues raised by Katlehong residents

Issues of housing, high crime incidents, healthcare, a poor stormwater drainage system are only some of the issues aired by residents of Katlehong, east of Johannesburg.

On Wednesday, the Afternoon Drive team hosted a townhall in the community with panellists from the African National Congress(ANC) , Democratic Alliance (DA), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the African Independent Congress (AIC).

Amongst the panellists from the City of Ekurhuleni were Finance MMC Doctor Xhakaza, MMC of Energy, Water & Sanitation Mme Tiisetso Nketle, as well as ANC Regional Deputy Chair Jongizizwe Dlabathi.

The ANC's governance was in the spotlight.

An issue which came up repeatedly was that of housing.

Responding to questions about RDP housing and living conditions, ANC regional deputy chair Jongizizwe Dlabathi says the recent Gauteng City-Region Observatory report confirms that the standard of living in Ekurhuleni has greatly improved compared to other metros.

With regard to the RDP houses, just as a base the ANC has built more than 4 million RDP houses [across South Africa], built and allocated. The foundation has been laid. Just in 24 moths we have delivered 26 000 RDP houses as this municipality and delivered over 17 000 service stands.

Jongizizwe Dlabathi, ANC Regional Deputy Chair

But he admits that there are challenges.

One of the biggest challenges which we agree amongst others, is the unemployment and housing backlog in Ekurhuleni. Due to the fact that there is urbanisation and a number of factors, we have admitted, hence a bold commitment to build about 100 000 houses.

Jongizizwe Dlabathi, Regional deputy chair - Ekurhuleni ANC

The 1996 applicants are going to be a priority. It is work in progress. We are correcting an error where there could have been instances where people are jumping the line.

Jongizizwe Dlabathi, Regional deputy chair - Ekurhuleni ANC

EFF's Mandisa Mashego says the critical issue is that there is vast amounts of land on the periphery of Ekurhueni where the state could have built houses and put up industrial activity to create jobs.

The crisis we are sitting with is that you have a massive colossal failure at provincial government level with the issue of housing. It starts off with the department not having the necessary skills,

Mandisa Mashego , Chairperson - Gauteng EFF

Only 20% or less of all the employees at the provincial department of human settlements are qualified in the built environment, civil engineering or any other form of engineering required to build houses.

Mandisa Mashego , Chairperson - Gauteng EFF

If you have all this land and you are not doing anything with it and people are living in squalor , of course you are going to have land occupation and have people who are wanting to know whether they can use that land because they are desperate.

Mandisa Mashego , Chairperson - Gauteng EFF

Poor health facilities were also a concern.

An EFF councillor says the party had escalated a matter related to a 24 hour clinic in the area which is alleged to have a ward for doctors consultation rooms that also 'keeps' dead bodies.

We did a sit in last year, even today there are no changes. We escalated the matter even to the mayor himself.

EFF councillor

Dlabathi says the ANC has governement has built at least six new clinics in the metro and that the party has made a commitment to build more clinics.

Give us an opportunity to expand on what we have already provided.

Jongizizwe Dlabathi, Regional deputy chair - Ekurhuleni ANC

The DA Councillor Phillip de Lange says while there are 13 clinics with extended hours, the coalition government has not built a single rehab centre.

They have done absolutely nothing. This coalition government is failing our people health wise and I think they should be replaced and the DA is ready to replace them.

Phillip de Lange - Councillor - Ekurhuleni DA

Click on the link below to hear the full discussion...


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