Cape Town, Parliament, 21 June 2020 – In its presentation of its report for the fourth quarter in the 2019/20 financial year, to the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation yesterday, in a virtual meeting, the Department of Human Settlements reported that it met only 60% of its set targets, and spent 98% of its budget.
Explaining the reasons behind the department’s inability to meet all of its targets yet the budget is almost finished, the Acting Director-General, Mr Letshabane, said it’s the provinces and the municipalities that are responsible for those targets that have not been met. He said although the department is at the centre regarding the coordination of service delivery, the problem of concurrence makes it impossible for it to force the other spheres of government to meet their targets.
He said about 30% of the targets that are not met is work in progress, which he assured the committee that it is going to be completed.
On the failure to meet targets on building housing units and the upgrading of informal settlements, Mr Letshabane said the problems included protests in the communities. But members of the committee rejected this as an excuse and argued that it would be ironical because people in these communities use protest to demand, among other things, the delivery of houses and other services. So, communities would not block the delivery of the houses to them.
The committee expressed its unhappiness about the performance of the department on the delivery of title deeds to the recipients. Members of the committee told Mr Letshabane that the Minister has assured the committee on numerous occasions that the department has a plan in place to deliver the title deeds, yet according to the report, there is very little move on that.