A Mandela Park resident has added fuel to the fire of claims that the housing allocation process in the area is rigged – claiming that she has been involved in the illegal sales of RDP houses.
The Mandela Park housing development in Khayelitsha involves the development of 100 RDP houses for beneficiaries from the provincial housing waiting list.
But construction has been stopped four times in 2010 by backyarders who are demanding 50% of houses in the area.
The backyarders have also alleged that houses are being given to friends and relatives of local politicians.
On Tuesday last week, backyarders again brought construction to a standstill. So far backyarders have occupied 53 of the 100 houses.
Backyarder’s association spokesperson Mandla Xintolo said backyarders had decided to stop construction of houses because Western Cape MEC of Human Settlements Bonginkosi Madikizela had not kept a promise that he would meet with them.
Meanwhile Ndileka Thwala, 35, a resident of Mandela Park, claimed this week that since the development had started a decade ago, she and a group of four others had been involved in the sale of 20 RDP houses.
She said prices of the houses ranged between R5,000 and R11,000, depending on the size of the plot and how far the house had been developed.
Houses that were sold included cases when it was known that a beneficiary had died or if beneficiaries lived in informal settlements.
Once money was paid, she said it would be arranged through the local South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) structures for that person’s name to be included on the beneficiary list.
Thwala, who is confined to bed through sickness, said she was revealing the information because she believed she had been cursed for her involvement. “My body is burning. I hardly walk because my legs are swollen. I have been cursed,” she said.
She said she hoped the curse would go away if she revealed what was going on.
Xintolo, who has already met Thwala and knows about her story, said the backyarders welcomed the confession.
“We are not going to rest until we get all the people who have been defrauding houses here.”
Regarding the construction stoppage, ward councillor Ryder Mkutswana said he would ask Madikizela to meet with the backyarders so building could continue.
“I understand the plight of the backyarders, but stopping the development will not help,” said Mkutswana.
Madikizela said his department has concluded a survey that was launched last month in Mandela Park and Samora Machel respectively to investigate if people occupying RDP houses were the rightful owners or not.
A preliminary investigation that was confirmed by Samora Machel councillor Monwabisi Mbaliswano had last month – a week after the investigations started – found that 80% of the 4005 houses in Samora Machel were illegally occupied.
The investigations was launched after Mbaliswano and his committee found out that many families who had been allocated RDP houses sold them before the national Human Settlement Department’s moratorium on the sale of state-subsidised houses by beneficiaries had lapsed.
Mbaliswano had said residents somehow sold the RDP houses because they were poorly built or to raise money for emergencies such as funerals.
“The survey is done and we are busy looking at how we are going to deal with the outcomes.
“Because the findings of the survey are too technical, advice from our legal team says we must first with deal with the survey internally before making any comments to the media,” said Madikizela.
Regarding Thwala coming clean about her selling RDP houses in Mandela Park, Madikizela said “we welcome people coming forward with any information about housing corruption and the sale of RDP houses.
“We cannot keep building houses for the poor and those houses don’t arrive to the rightful beneficiaries.” – Sandiso Phaliso, West Cape News