Answer to a question from a reader

What can I do if my RDP house was approved but now they can't find my ID on the housing database?

The short answer

This is unusual. You should follow up with the office where you made your application. If they can't help, contact the MEC, the Ombudsman or a legal organisation.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

I applied for an RDP house ten years ago. It was approved and I was given papers, but when I go do a follow up they say my ID is not found on the housing database.

The long answer

This is very strange because when you make an application for an RDP house, one of the documents required for the application is your ID. Depending on your province or municipality, you will then be registered on the National Housing Needs Register or your Municipal Housing Demands Database. These serve as a waiting list. 

So, they must have entered your ID then, as they could not have accepted your application without your ID. The Housing Department (Human Settlements) advises that you should always follow up at the office where you made the application. This is the answer the Housing Department gives on its website for a question on its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): 

“It is always recommended that follow-up to be done at the office where application was done as they will have your file and they can talk to you about progress and any outstanding documents in your file. This also includes updating your contact details.”

So you should go to that office and ask them to check your file first, where there would be proof of your ID. If someone there has made some mistake somewhere along the line, they must take it up and sort it out. 

Always take careful note of the date, the office, the name of the person you spoke to, and what they said, because if you have to take it higher, you will need those details.

The contact number for the Housing Hotline number is 0800 146 873.

You can also email and give them your ID number.

You can log onto the Housing Subsidy Portal at and enter your ID number.

If all this does not help, you can approach the MEC for Housing (or Human Settlements). In each province the MEC must take note of complaints which have not been resolved by the municipality. The MEC can instruct the municipality to resolve it and has the power to reverse any unfair decision made by the municipality.

As we don’t know which province you live in, the following list of contact numbers for housing enquiries in the different provinces may be helpful:

Gauteng: 011 355 4000

Western Cape: 079 769 1207 (Please Call Me)

Eastern Cape: 043 711 9901/2/3

KwaZulu-Natal: 033 392 6400 or 033 3365300

North West: 018 388 5403

Limpopo: 015 284 5000

Northern Cape: 053 830 9422

Free State: 051 405 3883

Mpumalanga: 013 766 6087

If you are not helped, there is also an ombudsman for Human Settlements. An ombudsman is an official who must take up complaints against public and government organisations. These are the contact details:


Call Centre: 0800 1(HOUSE) 46873 (weekdays 8h00 – 15h30)

If you still need help, you could also approach one of the following organisations:

  • The Black Sash

Helpline for free paralegal advice: 072 663 3739. You can also send a Please Call Me to this number.

  • The Women’s Legal Centre, Cape Town

Address: Constitution House, 5 St Georges Mall, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000


Phone: 021 424 5660

  • You could also contact Pro Bono, a legal organisation that will take a case on without charge if they think it is in the public interest.


Johannesburg: 011 339 6080

Cape Town: 087 806 6070/1/2

Wishing you the best,

Answered on Jan. 10, 2023, 10:03 a.m.

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Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.