Finalisation of Committee Reports

Human Settlements (WCPP)

04 February 2021
Chairperson: Ms M Maseko (DA)
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Meeting Summary

Video: Standing Committee on Human Settlements, 4 February 2021, 13:00

The Committee met, on a virtual platform, to consider and adopt its report on the Annual Reports of the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements and the Western Cape Rental Housing Tribunal for the 2019/20 financial year.

The Committee also adopted outstanding minutes and its quarterly reports.

The Committee resolved to engage the national Department of Human Settlements and the Bitou municipality in George on alternate building material dumped at the airport in George Municipality. The materials were supposed to have been used in Bitou Municipality after the fires in 2018. It came to light that National Government funded the municipality directly for this project. The Committee agreed it needed to get direct answers on when the material would be used, who the current owners of the material were, if the material could be used for emergency or temporary accommodation, if the material would be suitable for permanent accommodation as an alternative construction material and where the families affected by the 2018 fire were staying. Members would possibly have to travel to the airport to check on the material as it had been left there since 2018.

Meeting report

Opening remarks by the Chairperson
The Chairperson welcomed everyone and expressed her appreciation for their attendance. She reminded Members about the rules of engagement for virtual meetings.

Committee Report on the Annual Reports of the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements and the Western Cape Rental Housing Tribunal for the 2019/20 financial year
The Chairperson took Members through the report page by page.

The report was adopted without any changes.

Consideration and adoption of Committee Minutes dated 11 December 2020
The Chairperson took Members through the minutes page by page.

The minutes were adopted without any changes.

Consideration and adoption of Committee Quarterly Report for July 2020
The Chairperson took Members through the report page by page.

The report was adopted without any changes.

Consideration and adoption of Committee Quarterly Report for October – December 2020
The Chairperson took Members through the report page by page.

The report was adopted without any changes.

Meeting with National Government and the DHS about materials dumped in Bitou Municipality
The Chairperson said there had been alternate building material dumped at the airport in George Municipality. The materials were supposed to have been used in Bitou Municipality after the fires in 2018. The Chairperson indicated that she had asked the Western Cape Provincial Department of Human Settlement (DHS) and she was informed that it had never funded the municipality for that. After conducting some research, she discovered that National Government funded the municipality directly. The Chairperson therefore wanted to have a meeting with National Government, the DHS and Bitou Municipality to find out when the material would be used as it had been lying at the airport. She was definite that there was a business plan attached to the material for the people who had lost their houses in the fires during that time.  She asked Members if they concurred with this suggestion.

Mr A van der Westhuizen (DA) thanked the Chairperson for picking up on the issue and supported her proposal. First, he wanted to know who the current owners of the material were. Secondly, could it be used for emergency or temporary accommodation? Would the material be suitable for permanent accommodation as an alternative construction material? He asked that the Chairperson get the answers to those questions so that it could be turned into a positive story.

The Chairperson said the foundation was that the material was there at the airport which was confirmed by the DHS. It had been bought by a department in National Government and was meant to be used in Bitou municipality.  She said the Standing Committee had to go and find out where the people who were meant to be the beneficiaries of the project were staying.

Mr B Herron (GOOD) said he had also submitted questions for a written reply on the issue. He agreed that the Committee needed to understand what was going but did not understand what the Chairperson proposed should happen next.

The Chairperson said she wanted the Committee to engage the department that allocated the funds for the project as well as the municipality on why it had not used the material. The province did not know about the project as it had never been brought to their attention until questions on the matter were received.

Mr Herron agreed with the Chairperson.

Mr D America (DA) said he was unaware of the matter, but he supported the proposal put forward by the Chairperson.

The Chairperson said Members would receive communication on the date of the meeting. Members would possibly have to travel to the airport to check on the material as it had been left there since 2018.

The Chairperson thanked everyone for attending the meeting and it was adjourned.
 

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