Western Cape Department of Human Settlements Quarter 1 performance

Human Settlements (WCPP)

25 September 2018
Chairperson: Ms M Maseko (DA)
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Meeting Summary

The Chairperson informed the Committee that the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform – which was scheduled to present on Phase 3 of District 6 - had written a letter declining the Committee’s invitation due to the District 6 matter being in court. The Committee agreed to get legal advice so as to find out what can be done going forward, because the Committee needs answers from the Department on District 6.

The Western Cape Provincial Department of Human Settlement presented on its Quarterly Performance Report for the period April 2018-June 2018.

The Department reported that the Department did not schedule deliverables in respect of Programme 1: Administration.

On Programme 2: Housing Needs, Research and Planning, the Department had done very well because it had delivered in terms of number of municipalities that it provides with technical support. The target for the quarter was set at 6 and this had been achieved.

On Programme 3, which deals with housing development, the Department reported that it exceeded the targets set. An example was on the target for the number of subsidies disbursed, the target set for the quarter was 30, and the actual output was 62. On the number of Finance Linked individual subsidy Programme (FLISP) subsidies, the target set was 100, the actual output was 125. Under Programme 3, the number of housing units delivered, the output was 322 against a target of 1100. The reason for this was that the DOHS cannot count the sites as complete until practical completion is reached. The Department however assured Members that by the time it gives its report for the second quarter the figures will be different. The Department also reported that it is comfortable with the number of young people trained in various disciplines of the built environment; it had set a target of 35 and managed to train 40 youth.

The Department reported that it performed badly under Programme 4 dealing with Land and Asset Management. On the number of title deeds transferred to qualifying beneficiaries of pre 1994 housing units, the Department reported that no target was set for the quarter and that the target for the year 2018/19 is 340.

The Committee was concerned that the Department had not provided it with in depth information on its performance in the first quarter. The Committee sought clarification on the yearly target of 340 set for title deeds and wanted to know why no quarterly targets had been set. The Committee also sought to know what skill training was given to the youth and where the youths trained currently are. Committee members wanted further clarification on Programme 3. They were concerned that the Department may have lowered the targets to be seen as having over achieved. Members further asked about the N2 Gateway Project, housing delivery and indicated they wanted to know at the end of the year how much was spent on projects that gave the Department problems.

The Chairperson confirmed the two resolutions of the meeting to be as follows:
-The Committee will request from the Department figures on the amount of money spent on community dynamics that have delayed projects.
-The Committee will request for the list of youth who have been trained, the type of training received and where the youths currently are.
 

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed Members and confirmed having received apologies from Hon Tertuis Simmers (DA), Hon Bernard Joseph (EFF) and the Minister. She noted that the National Department of Rural Development and Land Reform had been expected to brief the Committee on Phase 3 of District 6 on that day. However, she had received a letter from the Department declining the invitation due to the District 6 matter being in court. The letter also sought to withdraw the list of delegates that was sent to the Committee earlier.

The Chairperson said she will proceed to request legal advice to find out what can be done going forward, because the Committee needs answers and members need to hear from the Department on whether it will leave the project until the matter in court is resolved.

Ms T Dijana (ANC) advised the Chairperson that writing to the Department to seek clarification will suffice and that there is no need to seek legal advice.

The Chairperson added that it will be useful to involve legal since the legal team are able to go to court and obtain documents and advise the Committee on the position.

Ms W Philander (DA) added that she too supports seeking legal advise on the matter.

Mr D Joseph (DA) added that the legal team will also be able to tell the Committee whether responses that have been given by the Department make sense.

The Chairperson confirmed that members have agreed that the Committee proceeds to seek legal advice on its engagement with the Department of Rural Development on District 6 matter.

Briefing by the Department of Human Settlements on its Quarterly Performance Report for the period April 2018-June 2018
Mr Thando Mguli, HOD, DoHS, stated that April to June is usually a very short period for the Department. It is also a very busy period because of reconciliations. During this period, the Department is obsessed in ensuring all documents relating to the past year are in place.

He reported that the Department does not perform very well in the first quarter and that it did not schedule deliverables for the first quarter under Programme 1, which deals with administration.

On Programme 2: Housing Needs, Research and Planning, the Department had done very well because it had delivered in terms of number of municipalities that it provides with technical support. The target for the quarter was set at 6 and this had been achieved.

On Programme 3: Housing Development, the Department exceeded the expectations by far. On individual housing subsidies, the target for the number of subsidies disbursed (R0-R3 500 non credit linked), the target set for the quarter was 30, and the actual output was 62. This was attributed to a higher demand for non- credit linked subsidies. On the number of Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) subsidies, the target set was 100, the actual output was 125. On the number of new sites connected to basic services as part of the Integrated Residential Development Programme (IRDP), the target set for the quarter was 1300 and the Department substantially underperformed in that area since the actual output was 30. The reason for the dismal performance was that the sites are under construction and that the Department can only report on them when the sites are handed over to the municipality. On number of housing units delivered, the output was 322 against a target of 1100. While some projects are complete, the Department cannot count the sites as complete until practical completion is reached. He assured members that by the time the Department gives its report for the second quarter the figures will be different. On the number of sites delivered which are connected to basic services as part of the upgrading of informal settlements Programme (UISP), the target set for the quarter was 194 and the actual output is 388. On the number of housing units delivered that have reached the stage of practical completion as part of the Peoples Housing Process (PHP), the target set was 230 and what was achieved was 321.This was because the process of building PHP units was fast tracked.

Concerning historically disadvantaged individuals (HDI), women and youth, the Department had not reported on the outcome of the first quarter but it is keeping an eye on the annual targets set. The Department is comfortable with the number of young people trained in various disciplines of the built environment: it had set a target of 35 and managed to train 40 youth. On the total number of houses built using sustainable building technologies, he reported that few projects with sustainable building technologies initiatives were not actioned resulting in fewer units using sustainable building technologies. The Department performed badly under Programme 4 dealing with Land and Asset management. On the number of debtors whose outstanding balances have been reduced to nil, the target was set at 30, the Department achieved 15. On the number of title Deeds transferred to qualifying beneficiaries of pre 1994 housing units, he confirmed that no target was set for the quarter and that the target for the year 2018/19 is 340.

Discussion
The Chairperson was concerned that the Department had not provided the Committee with adequate information. The Committee wanted in depth information so that Members address the challenges. She advised that giving Members information will assist when it comes to the annual report since the Committee members would have walked with the Department through the quarters. She gave the example of the 35 youth who have been trained and stated that the Department should have gone further to clarify in what area they were skilled and where the youth are now.

Ms Dijana wanted to know why there is no quarterly target on the number of knowledge management projects to be implemented. Further, she asked why there is no quarterly target set for Title Deeds and sought more clarification on the target set for title deeds.

Ms Philander noted that there are huge margins under Programme 3.3 and 3.4 concerning the number of new sites connected to basic services as part of IRDP and the number of housing units delivered that have reached the stage of practical completion. She asked what intervention will be done to ensure the targets are met.

The Chairperson asked what contingency measure the Department had put in place to deal with the high demand for subsidies. She was concerned that the DOHS may have set low targets in order for the Department to over achieve, since for many years the FLIPS was not doing well then all of a sudden it is performing well. On the number of debtors whose outstanding balances had been reduced to zero, she asked why few debtors qualified and whether the process is still going on for the remaining 15 debtors. She also asked how far the Department is in processing the title deeds for pre 1994.

Mr Joseph wanted further clarification on the target of 340 set for Title Deeds. He noted that during the first quarter, tenders must go out. He thus wanted to know how the Department is able to deliver and get the sites connected in the first quarter.

Mr Rob Smith, Director, DoHS stated that another reason why the first quarter was slow was that some of the houses which are very close to finishing got held up in the violence. On the question of how the DoHS has been able to get on site with services in the first quarter, he stated that fortunately certain projects were already on site at the beginning of the year. Usually sites have to be signed off in phases and when the Department is finished the local authority takes over. He confirmed that it is only in 4 projects where the Department is struggling to get on sites.

Mr Mguli confirmed to Members that most of the projects are complete and that is the reason the Department is confident of the targets set. He added that the Human settlement portfolio is either on site or in transit to site and it is clear to achieve the targets set by 2020. Most of the work is in progress but not at the stage where it can be counted. The Department has sometimes been disappointed when things happen which are beyond control of administrators. He gave the example of an incident of lawlessness which occurred the previous weekend relating to the N2 gateway project. The Community members did not want to move to the Temporary relocation areas (TRA) and ended up removing the structures put, thus delaying the project further.

On Title Deeds, Mr Mguli reported that the Department has R 50 million set aside for the Title Deed restoration Programme. All municipalities that have title deed programmes bring it to the attention of the Department. The Department, in helping to conclude the Programme, gives technical and financial assistance. The DoHS has allocated resources to municipalities. The focus of the DoHS is to flash track issuance of Title Deeds, not fast track. He added that the Department does not have a huge number of pre 1994 title deeds pending, what it has is the contested claims. The DoHS has asked the city to prioritise and has given the city R 10 million for title deeds. No one in the city should have a problem with Title Deeds unless it is beyond administration. The DoHS now wants to build and issue keys to the houses together with the Title Deeds.

On the youth, he stated that most of the training is done in areas where the DoHS is building and the youth are absorbed in the construction sites. The DoHS has made it a condition for contractors to absorb the youth and the same applies in the metro. As the project progresses, some of the youth apply to be deployed to other sites. The DoHS has done the technical training and the youth must after find themselves thereafter. He confirmed that the Department can provide the full list of youths trained.

On setting of targets, he gave the example of FLISP and noted that even though the Department has performed well, it is still falling on empty. The target stated was 11,000 and the DoHS is not going to make it, therefore the targets have been dropped. What was signed off in 2014 on FLISP will not be reached, because of things beyond the Department’s control including the regulations and the industry. The DoHS is now building FLISP units itself so that the lower strata can qualify to buy. The FLISP policy has now been amended to state that provincial government has been given authority to build the units. The private sector is continuing with the other developments. All of the houses in Forest Village will be FLISP. On having achieved the target on individual subsidies, he stated that this happened predominantly in rural areas where some of the people have their own land. The DoHS has gone further to deploy contractors to those areas so that it can take liability for the final product.

The Chairperson reiterated that the Committee needs in depth information from the Department. On the lawlessness relating to the N2 Gateway, she asked whether the DoHS can consider giving the responsibility of moving to the people to enable the people have a sense of ownership, rather than creating extra dependency of the people on the Department.

Mr Mguli responded that the DoHS usually requests the community to establish a steering community within themselves. The communities are however intimidated by others who make them scared of taking responsibility. The DoHS had Temporary relocation Areas (TRAs) for the people close by. The first group moved in but the contractor could not progress with the construction since other groups had refused to move. He reiterated that the delivery of houses is detoured by instability and lawlessness.

The Chairperson stated that lawlessness translates to cutting down of the list of beneficiaries and the community needs to be aware of that. She added that the Committee will want to know at the end of the year how much was spent on projects that gave the DoHS problems.

The Chairperson confirmed the two resolutions of the meeting to be as follows:
-The Committee will request from the Department figures on the amount of money spent on community dynamics that have delayed projects.
-The Committee will request for the list of youth who have been trained, the type of training received and where the youths currently are.

Committee Minutes
The Chairperson requested Members to go through the Committee minutes of 11th September 2018for purposes of adoption.

Ms Philander moved that the minutes be adopted with no amendments.

Ms Dijana seconded this.

Committee Report
The Chairperson requested members to go through the Draft Committee Report on the fact finding visit to the Deeds office.

Ms Philander moved that the report be adopted with no amendments.

Ms Dijana seconded.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

Documents

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