Media Release - 07 December 2010

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale handed over five hundred houses and vowed to built faster.

The handing over of 500 houses built since April this year signifies the new way of accelerated service delivery by government, says Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale.

Speaking in Port Alfred, on Tuesday to hand over 500 houses to the community, he said it was important to deliver services faster to lessen the period the people have to wait to receive their homes.

“We made a promise to you, not only to deliver houses but to do so in a faster pace, this government doesn’t joke, when we say something must be done it must be done.

We said we’ll be back in December and we are here as promised. We are a government of delivery that keeps its promises,” he said

Sexwale added this was going to be a feature in his tenure as Minister of human settlements.

“This project is an indication of how this new government is going to do things; we are not going to allow any slow pace in the provision of service delivery. We are now going to increase the pace of delivery in all our projects…our people cannot and must not wait any longer for decent shelter.

“I cannot sleep in my house properly if my people are homeless. When they can’t be protected from the weather when it is rainy, windy suffering in their shacks,” he said to great applause from the crowd.

The project he added will result in five thousand houses both rental and bonded houses being built including the provision of schools, clinics and business places within the community.

However the lack of bulk services mainly major waterworks such as desalination plant to treat sea water, a plant to clean river water or construction of a new dam is delaying the rollout of the remaining 4500 homes.

Sexwale also lashed out at Socio-Economic Rights Institute of SA, the Centre for applied legal studies, Community Law Centre, Lawyers for Human Rights, the Legal Resource Centre and Section27  accusing him of disregarding the Constitution in his bid to deal with land grabs and building hijackers accusing them of lack of knowledge about the origins of the problem.

“The Constitution is very clear about that there are caveats around the rights to housing. To quote selectively from the Constitution-quoting the first clause of the Bill of Rights without quoting the second shows gross recklessness on the part of those who should understand the law,” he said.

 Citing the Grootboom case he said the Constitutional ruling was not advocating for the protection of illegal occupations by slumlords, hijackers or land grabbers whether local or foreign, but is aimed at protecting the destitute who were on land for quite some time, to protect their arbitrary removal by landlords.

Enquiries: Chris Vick 083 556 7644 or Mandulo Maphumulo 079 699 5145

Issued by the Department of Human Settlements

Press Release Date: 
Tuesday, December 7, 2010