Paul Mashatile

(Photo by Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Outcry over ANC MEC ‘wasting’ R500 million on legal fees

That is one huge sum of money.

Paul Mashatile

(Photo by Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The Democratic Alliance are in uproar over the R500 million spent on legal fees by the Gauteng Human Settlement Department over the last 12 months. Gauteng Human Settlement MEC, Paul Mashatile, revealed the costs came about while attempting to prevent the spread of new informal settlements as a result of increasing land invasion in Gauteng.

The DA’s Mervyn Cirota says the money was a “waste” due to Mashatile’s failures to address the housing backlog.

“Despite MEC Mashatile’s pleas with Gauteng residents to stop land invasions this trend is likely to continue as, his department has not done enough to address the 600 000 housing backlog in the province.

Gauteng residents are tired and frustrated with the ANC government’s empty promises on delivering decent and adequate houses.

Housing backlogs and corruption in housing allocations have resulted in widespread protests and the establishments of new informal settlements.”

Cirota says that the DA led City of Joburg has budgeted R1.9 billion over the next three years to upgrade 51 informal settlements. The previous ANC administration had “only set itself a target of upgrading two informal settlements in the 2016/17 financial year.

After receiving heavy criticism for the sanitation in Cape Town townships, the DA says they have made big allocations for informal settlements in the city of Tshwane.The DA-led administration will formalise a total of seven informal settlements with water,

“The DA-led administration will formalise a total of seven informal settlements with water, stand pipes, sewers with flushing toilets. Furthermore, to restore dignity, the City will invest R480 million over the medium term on basic services to begin addressing the often undignified sanitary conditions which so many of our people had to endure under the previous ANC administration.”

The DA are also emphasising the call for transparency in housing allocation, the party believes it is the only way to stop illegal land invasion in the province.