City housing verification system launched
City of Johannesburg Member of the Mayoral Committee for Housing Councillor Dan Bovu has launched the housing waiting list verification campaign in Region E to ensure fairness, transparency and accountability in the allocation of state housing.
The campaign, which kicks off at the beginning of next month, was launched at Alexsan Kopano Resource Centre in Alexandra on Wednesday.
The launch followed the successful piloting of the project in Region D, which includes large parts of Soweto, where more than 200 000 households were visited and residents on the housing waiting list verified by more than 350 fieldworkers between February and May last year.
The verification system is different from Gauteng Provincial Government’s Ziveze Campaign as the City’s is ward-based. For the next four months hundreds of fieldworkers will be visiting households in regions E, A and F to verify the status of the applicants on the housing waiting list.
MMC Bovu said Alexandra residents had on a number of occasions expressed concern that the government had allocated houses to people who were not on the list. Residents had also alleged that some of the recipients had acquired state houses through “dubious means”.
“The implementation of the Campaign will eliminate fraud. Field workers will go out to residents and verify their status on the waiting list through a technologically advanced capturing device. The information will then be uploaded to the city’s database. A strict vetting process will ensure that everything is done transparently and above board,” MMC Bovu said to applause.
Project Leader and City of Joburg Housing Director Thulani Nkosi told the 500 residents who had attended the launch that fieldworkers would come from the community.
“Your children and your neighbours’ children will form part of a team of fieldworkers, who will go door to door and house to house to capture the information using special hand-held scanners that automatically transmit data to the city. Once the City has an idea of how many people are still on the waiting list, priority will be given to the aged,” Nkosi said.
He said to address the housing backlog, the City was planning to construct high-rise buildings in Alexandra. “Council has adopted models from Brazil and Singapore of using high-rise buildings to ensure that as many people as possible are accommodated because land is scarce in Alex,” MMC Bovu said.
The MMC also said recipients of state housing in Johannesburg would in future have to put on their overalls and work suits to build their own houses. “There will soon come a time when local government will reduce its reliance on contractors and get residents to actively take part in the building of their own houses. The time for sitting back and expecting handouts from the government will soon be a thing of the past. We as a people have to take responsibility. We have to take the initiative and get the ball rolling. Only then can we radically transform our lives and our living conditions,” MMC Bovu said.