Eight years later, housing department’s promise has still not been kept

Micheal Simelani was approved for RDP housing in 2012 and is still waiting

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Micheal Simelani is one of nearly 1,900 people still waiting for promised houses after a government housing project in Randfontein hit the skids in 2015.

  • Nearly 1,900 people are still waiting for houses promised to them in a new settlement in Randfontein in 2012.
  • The housing project, in Middelvlei, ground to a halt after three years because of financial problems, the Gauteng Human Settlements department says.
  • Of the roughly 5,550 people who were to get houses there, only 3,671 have been housed.

Micheal Bekizizwe Simelani has been approved for government subsidised housing since August 2012. But in spite of promises made by the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements, he has not been allocated a house. Instead, he has been bounced from one housing office to another.

In 2014, Simelani was put on the waiting list for the housing project in Middelvlei in Randfontein, which had started in 2012. However, in 2015 that housing project was stopped.

Spokesperson for the MEC for Human Settlements Castro Ngobese told GroundUp that the Middelvlei housing project had stopped after only 3,671 houses had been built, because, he said, it “was not financially viable” as the land was in private ownership and bulk electrical services were not available.

As a result, out of 5,549 approved residents (and their household members) who were meant to get housing in the Middelvlei project, only 3,671 have been placed. The remaining 1,878 approved residents (including Simelani) have been allocated housing in various Mega City Housing Projects in the Rand West City Local Municipality.

Simelani has spent the past few months visiting housing offices, being sent backwards and forwards between the Krugersdorp and Randfontein housing offices, and getting different information each time.

“They told me in Krugersdorp office I will be placed before April 2019,” said Simelani, who is currently living with his sister. “I went to the office in April and they referred me to Randfontein Human Settlements office. At Randfontein I was told I must come back around October 2019. When I went back I was told to wait for the SMS. I was told it seems I am not patient.”

Last week Monday, he says, he was told to come back after June 2021.

After being informed of Simelani’s case, Ngobese said: “we are busy handling the matter internally as the department. We have many people facing a similar situation as Micheal Simelani. We are working hard to improve our systems internally, so that deserving beneficiaries get allocated into their new houses.”

Simelani said, “I just hope they will be able to help me.”

TOPICS:  Housing

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Dear Editor

Unfortunately, desperate community members have taken vacant houses that were supposed to be allocated. These houses now are occupied illegally 🤷. Will we ever get our houses legally or people will continue staying in those houses? This is very sad as people are copying their leaders who took houses forcefully before and nothing was done by our government.

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