Friday, January 20, 2006

Housing MECs fail to deliver

The select portfolio on finance has given housing MEC's a tongue-lashing for not showing up in Parliament today. They were supposed to be there to account for how they have spent their housing budgets. But aside from not turning up, many seem to have underutilised their money. Sporadic protests on non-delivery of housing have escalated in provinces across the country.

The reason given for the non-delivery is that there is not enough money. But the treasury says there is. The Western Cape alone has under spent its budget by R800 million.

Parliament heard that the other big under-spenders are Limpopo, Free State and Mpumalanga. Tutu Ralane, the chairperson of the portfolio committee, says he is disappointed that only the Free State turned up.

"We don't want to hear generalisations about capacity ... we want MECs to start identifying areas where they lack capacity and then focus to address it."The provinces that have spent their money are the Northern Cape and North West. Ralane says they want provinces to share experiences on how best to deliver houses. SABC

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