Avatar photo

By Eric Naki

Political Editor

Angry Kimberley residents have names removed from housing lists

Thousands of residents previously on the housing waiting lists in the Kimberley-based Sol Plaatje Municipality say they have been removed.

As reports come in regarding chaos in Kimberley amid service delivery protests, a fight is brewing between thousands of residents previously on the housing waiting lists and the Kimberley-based Sol Plaatje Municipality in the Northern Cape.

This comes after the names were allegedly removed from the housing register and waiting list by the municipality without an explanation.

One of the residents affected was Felicity Oor, who applied for a house in 2010, but established recently that her name no longer appeared on any housing waiting list compiled by the Northern Cape department of cooperative governance, human settlements and traditional leaders (Coghsta). She was among the 25 000 residents whose names had been removed from the list.

Both the residents and the Democratic Alliance at the municipality have blamed Sol Plaatje mayor Mangaliso Matika for the problem, saying he must account for what happened.

They said they found it strange that their names had disappeared from the original housing waiting list. The disgruntled residents plan to put pressure on Matika, including holding a protest at the municipal offices, to demand that their names be reinstated to the waiting list.

WATCH: Chaos hits Kimberley as buildings burn amid protests

Opposition DA is taking up the matter to the council on their behalf, and demands that Matika should account for the problem.

DA councillor Reinette Liebenberg said Matika must be held accountable for killing the hopes of thousands of Kimberley residents who were robbed of the opportunity to appear on the official Coghsta register for housing needs.

Liebenberg said they had reason to believe the municipality failed to comply with instructions to include its housing waiting list on the centralised needs register at the Coghsta department. “Since 2016, the DA frequently requested a copy of the waiting list, but to no avail.

“We thus strongly suspect that the municipality never submitted the names on its waiting list to Coghsta,” said Liebenberg. She added the municipality’s attempt to declare its old waiting list null and void was “incredibly unfair to the thousands of citizens who are under the false impression that their names still featured on a valid housing waiting list somewhere”.

“The truth is that high-scale inefficiency and incompetency within the human settlement committee in Sol Plaatje, coupled with a lack of transparency and the ad-hoc allocation of housing, largely to those with connections, is jeopardising the chances of a better life for thousands of Kimberley residents.

“Sol Plaatje Municipality needs to embark on a massive public awareness campaign to tell housing hopefuls of their lot and give them the opportunity to resubmit their names for the new needs register,” Liebenberg said.

Municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie, when approached for comment, said he was busy, and would comment later. He could not be reached at the time of publishing this story.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

Read more on these topics

housing Kimberley