Gauteng Provincial Government on its COVID-19 response plan (continuation)

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

06 August 2020


Meeting Summary

Video: Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, 06 August 2020

The Gauteng Provincial Departments of Human Settlements, Cooperative Governance and Social Development presented their COVID-19 response in this virtual meeting.

The Gauteng Department of Human Settlements has a six-pillar strategic plan to respond to COVID-19 and address prioritised informal settlements. Cooperative Governance (COGTA) has introduced a Ward-Based War Room programme to address challenges experienced by municipalities in delivering services to informal settlements especially water provision. The 'one million graves' media report was put to rest by the MEC. The Gauteng Department of Social Development spoke about the capacity of homeless shelters in the province during COVID-19 and the status of the food distribution programme.

Members raised concerns about media reports about corruption in Gauteng and evictions that should not be happening during lockdown. The MECs were encouraged to address corruption and work hard to ensure compliance. The Province’s underperformance and underspending was questioned especially since 2019/20 targets were not achieved. The de-densification plan for certain informal settlements was questioned closely.

Members said that whilst it is impressive that Gauteng has improved its overall performance, there are still service delivery concerns especially to informal settlements. The status of the food distribution programme and effectiveness in supporting the vulnerable and poor were questioned as well as the effectiveness of the Ward Based War Rooms in assisting municipalities address challenges. Some Members were concerned about the extent of support provided to the residents of Gauteng and argued that the Province is not doing enough to ensure compliance with COVID-19 regulations. Concerns were raised about Tshwane in particular and the public protests. They questioned the large number of people who have left the homeless shelters.

Meeting report

The Chairperson said that the meeting is a continuation of the meeting held the previous day.

Department of Human Settlements
Mr Lebogang Maile, Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Cooperative Governance, presented the six-pillar plan for its COVID-19 response. He outlined the prioritised informal settlements and provided the implementation status for decongestion of these areas. The budget had been cut by the National Departments.

Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
Mr Maile said that the implementation and monitoring of the COVID-19 directives in line with the six-pillar plan will assist COGTA in implementing the response plan. He outlined the purpose of the command council and highlighted that ward-based war rooms were established. He provided the context and objectives of these war rooms, their programmes and mechanisms to strengthen implementation of the war rooms.

The provincial government does not have the competence to address water but national and local government have this competence. COGTA is only coordinating between those two spheres of government. The total number of water tanks provided to communities was noted.

On the adverse impact of COVID-19 on revenue for municipalities, he said that all municipal revenue was affected. He gave a revenue collection analysis as well as a creditors age analysis for the period April 2020 to 19 June 2020. He provided the Rand Water and Eskom creditor age analysis. He spoke about the municipal disaster relief grant and the R20 billion municipal COVID-19 relief fund. All Gauteng municipalities have presented their Integrated Development Plans and he gave the tabling dates for municipal budgets as well as the support interventions. He also provided detailed information on sanitisation, illegal waste clearance and waste management services for each municipality.

On the media reports about one million graves, Mr Maile clarified that Gauteng COGTA is not undertaking such an activity. Municipalities provided information on the available graves not about additional graves dug. This matter was clarified by the Gauteng Health MEC. Additional hospital bed capacity is the only preparation that was made for COVID-19.

Department of Social Development
Ms Nomathemba Mokgethi, Gauteng MEC for Social Development, spoke about the services to vulnerable groups and gave a breakdown of the homeless shelters that provide three meals a day with Tshwane having the most capacity in the province. A social protection and psychosocial support report and a food distribution breakdown as of August 2020 was given. A list of food relief as provided by municipalities was outlined as well as the referrals. She said that there is a backlog which is being addressed and presented the social grant payment list and progress in the implementation of the eVoucher system. Recommendations were provided by the Department.

Ms P Xaba-Ntshaba (ANC) thanked the Gauteng COGTA Department for assisting municipalities and noted that some municipalities are over-charging residents. She asked if municipalities can estimate charges and if municipalities are working towards addressing over-charging residents. She said that there was no mention of the Ivory Park informal settlement by Human Settlements. She asked the acting Health MEC about the company that received a tender without following proper procedure and if the company is still on their database. The acting Health MEC should work hard to address the corruption in the province.

Ms H Mkhaliphi (EFF) requested an update from Gauteng Human Settlements on the housing project in Merafong where the area is known as a sink hole disaster. She told the COGTA MEC that the Emfuleni Speaker was insulting residents and asked what COGTA has done to address this issue. She noted the announcement by the President about building one million houses in Alexandra and asked for details especially as evictions are happening during lockdown. She referred to the evicted people who have been on the land for more than two years and asked for the reasons for the evictions.

Ms Mkhaliphi asked the Social Development MEC about the Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa Child Youth Care Centre which was temporarily closed down because it had no health certificate and proper facilities and asked what Gauteng Department of Social Development (DSD) has done to assist the centre. She asked about reports of non-payment to service providers and asked for the status of this non-payment. On the distribution of food parcels, she asked for the criteria used by DSD to identify the needy especially due to the high corruption involving food parcels in the province. On the ward-based war rooms, she said that there is no knowledge of this programme in some wards. All wards should be included in the programme and not excluded on the basis of politics. She said that there was a report that the Health Department allowed a clinic to purchase cigarettes and asked about this allegation.

Ms G Opperman (DA) asked the Human Settlements delegation how tenure security will be ensured against the backdrop of land scarcity in the province and if there is enough land for the increasing population. She asked how free housing and guaranteed tenure will be sustained considering the increasing indigence and constrained financial resources in Gauteng. The Gauteng COGTA 2019/20 report shows targets were not met and she asked for reasons and who is held accountable for the underperformance as well as the measures in place to ensure targets are achieved. She asked if the targets for the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) and the Title Deed restoration programme were achieved.

DSD in 2018/19 underspent R419.2 million and in the 2019/20 3rd quarter there was an underspend. She asked why there was underspending and noted its 11% vacancy rate. In 2018/19 there was a 100% vacancy rate for occupational therapists and an 82% vacancy rate for psychologists. She asked if these posts have been filled especially when there is an 8% critical post vacancy rate. She asked how gender based violence is being addressed in the province.

Ms M Tlou (ANC) applauded the province on improving its numbers for homeless shelters and asked for clarity on the 581 people absconding from shelters, the 571 self-discharged people and the 346 people reunited with families. She asked if there is a follow-up process to ensure people absconding do not increase the infection rate. She commended DSD for providing services to vulnerable people. She asked COGTA for the total borrowing balance of municipalities from March 2020.

Mr K Ceza (EFF) asked how many of the 4 437 houses for Stjwetla informal settlement in Alexandra will be built successfully in the projected time period. He asked for the measures in place by Human Settlements to ensure that people moved from Marlboro, Kelvin and Alexandra are placed in areas that promote economic activity. He asked for the barometer used to identify informal settlements for de-densification and the number of sites identified. He asked for the percentage of DSD service delivery during COVID-19 and the causes for the service delivery protests as well as the total number of protests. There are areas that have not had electricity for five weeks and he wanted reasons for this.

Mr B Luthuli (IFP) asked about the food parcels distributed to 404 550 Gauteng households and asked if the total includes only vulnerable people. On the graves, he said that graves cannot be dug if there is no death. On the COVID-19 recoveries, of the 521 old people in quarantine facilities, 174 have recovered and 209 have passed on. He asked if the deaths are COVID or natural deaths.

Mr B Hadebe (ANC) said that the ward based war room initiative is progressive. He asked how the war room is constituted especially when certain wards are led by different political parties. The presentation stated that 437 of the 529 wards have initiated war rooms – what are the outcomes and changes in the 437 wards compared to those that do not have one? Do the war rooms fulfill their intended purpose and how? On the informal settlements water tanks, he asked who would address maintenance of the water tanks and reduce this identified risk. On the geographical referencing of the tanks, only 889 of the 1 479 tanks have coordinates. Why are the remaining tanks without coordinates? He asked for the measures to address the challenge of poor raw water in some municipalities. On the R6.4 billion revenue loss in municipalities due to COVID-19, he requested the revenue collection details prior to COVID-19 so a comparison can be made. He asked for clarity on the permission given to municipalities to prioritise unspent conditional grants on COVID-19 response and asked how much was prioritised to be spent by municipalities in the breakdown. He asked for the internal control measures put in place to ensure that funds are not misused by municipalities. The Committee has to be assured that the provincial government can handle and address such challenges before they become too complex.

The Chairperson said that concern has been raised by homeless shelter service providers that payment for services has not been received and asked for a status update. She asked if DSD has tracing mechanisms for people who self-discharge and abscond from shelters and if the COVID-19 status of these people was known. She highlighted that there is no social distancing at funerals and this matter was noted by the Gauteng Premier. She asked for a status update on the COVID-19 relief fund for the taxi industry and support given to it. There are long queues at post offices for the R350 social grant and she asked about measures to ensure social distancing.

Gauteng MEC Response
MEC for Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Cooperative Governance, Mr Maile, replied that the accuracy of billing is an urgent matter especially since residents have previously complained about over-charging. COGTA has experienced the over-charging first-hand. The municipalities are encouraged regularly to improve their systems. The estimated charges are an issue and the Department will work hard to address these challenges.

On the Ivory Park informal settlement, Mr Maile replied that the functions will be based on the report received on the categories of informal settlements which include Ivory Park. A R600 million budget has been allocated to provide services which include the improvement of services in informal settlements. There are informal settlements where people must be relocated as the area is inhabitable, then there are informal settlements that require services that can be developed while people are settled there and finally there are congested informal settlements that require decongestion by moving some residents and leaving others. The Department has a comprehensive approach and is fully aware of all informal settlements in the province. Land invasions need to be contained and addressed because they lead to unplanned development and limit the capacity of government to provide services. The plan for informal settlements has been presented to the Gauteng Legislature's Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements.

On the Merafong housing project and the sink hole disaster, the Department is aware of the number of unfinished housing projects in Gauteng and that R12 billion is required to address this. He mentioned that there are challenges with the capacity of the contractors and non-payment which affects the completion of projects. 521 wards in Gauteng have unfinished housing projects and the issue has been noted. On the sink holes, there are 2000 projects in Gauteng so it is not possible to know the exact details on each sink hole status of the projects but the issue is being addressed. The sink hole in Merafong is a big issue and there is an ongoing initiative to relocate the residents but there are challenges with people requesting the same size houses on the new land as their old houses. Land has been identified and the Elijah Barayi project was launched by the Minister of Human Settlements during the lockdown to address the sink holes.

On the Emfuleni municipality speaker, there have been complaints about the general conduct of councillors in the municipalities. Municipalities have been requested to investigate but processes have allowed municipalities to refer the matter back to the Department.

On the evictions, there are people who have occupied land illegally and court orders have been issued and granted to municipalities. The provincial government follows the lockdown regulations and if there is or was a department official who ordered the go-ahead for the evictions, the necessary action will be taken against the official. The Department of Human Settlements has a history of taking action and disciplining officials who do not comply. Mr Maile explained that the instruction was not issued by him or the Human Settlements Head of Department (HOD) for the evictions to take place. No evictions have taken place during lockdown, only invasions of people occupying land illegally. Illegal land invasions are being addressed accordingly and prevented. He requested the information and details of any evictions so that the matter can be addressed.

On tenure security, Mr Maile replied that there is a commitment to securing tenure for the people in the province. It is known that there is land scarcity in Gauteng and that 300 000 people come into the province every year and that there is a backlog of one million and limited resources. Policies are being discussed with the mayors on land allocation.

The FLISP targets have not been achieved for a while and the reason for this will be provided when the issues of Human Settlements is addressed. On its 2019/20 report, the Department regularly adjusts its plans and quarterly targets will be carried over if not achieved within that time period. Target achievement is work in progress and there is a turn-around strategy in place based on the historic work of the Department and current circumstances in the province. Part of the strategy is Programme Management and he said that the Human Settlements Department had received a disclaimer audit outcome. The MEC can return to the Committee with the Human Settlements Department so that the issues are discussed in detail. There are systems in place to address these issues and there will never be enough land. One of the proposals in the land policy is building high rise buildings as a solution to land scarcity.

On the borrowing balance of municipalities, the information is not known but the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) is availing R4.5 billion for Tshwane and Johannesburg. The information can be gathered and presented in future.

On the 4 437 houses in Sjwetla, the MEC replied that Sjwetla, Alexandra and Marlboro are closely located to each other. On creating economic opportunities, he emphasised the six-pillar plan and said that the economic development pillar addresses this. There are discussions on using old abandoned industrial buildings in Marlboro for creating economic activity and opportunities for residents. On the barometer used for relocating people, he said that a housing list is used instead of a barometer. The list is centralised. The Sjwetla informal settlement is one of the congested informal settlements. The sites identified for de-densification have been listed in the presentation. The approach is not focused on COVID-19 but is mainstreamed in Human Settlements programmes and budget. The Housing Development Agency was asked by the Department to help identify private land with services such as electricity and water so that houses can be built.

On the protests, one of the six pillars in the COVID-19 response plan is Law Enforcement and Compliance and that work is being done with the Department of Community Safety to monitor protests. There are many reasons for protests. The matter of electricity outages is being discussed with Eskom. Most of Soweto received power directly from Eskom and he requested that Eskom responds to that. Areas that receive power from municipalities experience challenges but there are efforts to improve the turnaround time. There are unavoidable challenges such as illegal power connections which affect the power grid. The matter will be addressed publicly.

On graves, he emphasised that there are no graves being dug and that clarity has already been provided on the misunderstanding.

Mr Maile replied that the ward-based war room is chaired by council regardless of the political party and it is joined by community stakeholders such as the police and healthcare representatives. On the outcomes of the initiative, the war rooms do serve their intended purpose and a decision was taken on how the war room meetings will be conducted during lockdown. The 92 wards that have not initiated the war rooms are mainly DA led wards which believe that the war rooms are being implemented to further the agenda of the ANC and legal action was promised against the Department. The Minister was asked to intervene in the matter. If the war rooms are properly structured and coordinated, they could add value and bring about effectiveness and ensure service delivery and the advancement of the District Development Model. There are areas/wards where value was added but it was uneven. Resources have been allocated to analyzing the progress of the war rooms.

On the maintenance of the water tanks, COGTA only coordinates but national and local government have the resources to address this. The maintenance of the tanks depends on the resources available. On the geographic referencing of the water tanks, there are tanks that are still in the warehouses because they have to be installed by the municipalities but there are no resources to initiate the installation of the tanks. The 1 479 tanks can be located. The quality of raw water has to be addressed urgently and in some areas service providers have been appointed to resolve this.

Mr Maile explained that the revenue collection before COVID-19 varies in municipalities and that most municipalities have a 90% plus revenue collection. The existence of COVID-19 has negatively affected the revenue collection figure for many municipalities.

On the prioritisation of unspent conditional grants, a meeting was held with National Treasury present and the question of the amount of the conditional grant was posed. The municipalities are finalising the information and so there is currently no exact figure of the prioritised grant. The information will be made available to the Committee once it has been received. Municipalities have been spending based on the reprioritised budgets.

On the internal control measures for ensuring proper usage of funds, COGTA does not focus on this due to limited resources but Treasury has the responsibility of overseeing the financial status of municipalities. The monitoring of municipalities is done regularly and through the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) in municipalities. Some MPACs are not fully functional but work is being done to capacitate them and monthly reports are submitted to Treasury. The filling of vacancies is a critical concern but there are measures to ensure that these vacancies are filled by skilled, competent people.

On payments to service providers, Tshwane municipality has been placed under administration as some officials did not follow proper procedures. The invoices received could not be paid because there were concerns with these invoices. A forensic analysis was conducted and a preliminary report has been completed. As a result some officials have been suspended. The report is expected to be finalised and it reveals that some invoices were inflated by 70%. Administrators have a tendency of paying all the invoices.

Social distancing at funerals has been raised as an area of concern by both the Department and the Premier. There have been arrests of people who do not comply with the rules.

Social Development MEC Mokgethi replied that the child and youth care centre referred to is temporarily closed and cabinet approved that the facility be closed for 12 months and there is a plan of action for the centre. Of the 3 334 NPOs, 95% have been paid. The NPOs that have not received payment are because of non-compliance challenges and mismanagement of funds. She requested Ms Mkhaliphi provide details of the NPO concerned so a follow up can be done.

The criteria for food parcel distribution is 100% unemployment in a household or a combined income of less than R3 600 per household which includes social grants; beneficiaries of DSD as determined by social workers are considered; another criterion used by municipalities is the indigent register. More than 30 000 food parcels have been distributed by municipalities.

On the people self-discharging from shelters, Ms Mokgethi replied that during the 21-day hard lockdown people could be managed but as soon as the regulations were relaxed, some people went back to work. Every homeless person was given two masks and there were no reports of COVID-19 deaths in the shelters. Doctors Without Borders are assisting with screening the people at the shelters and checking hypertension as well as providing medication. The South African National Council on Alcoholism (SANCA) has assisted DSD with screenings. One food parcel is provided monthly for a family of five. The number that have been fed are more than two million in Gauteng. The vulnerable and poor are the main focus of the food distribution programme.

On the deaths of elderly people, further information has to be collected to verify the cause of death. An area of concern for the old age facilities is that the caregivers are members of the community and may increase the infection rate at the old age facilities and expose the elderly to the virus.

There is no tracing mechanism for those absconding from the homeless shelters but a policy with an R88 million budget has been approved to address homelessness in the province. The policy will assist in the identification of buildings unused by municipalities to shelter the homeless. On the long queues at post offices, there is a plan to make the R350 grants electronic to avoid queues.

Mr Jacob Mamabolo, Acting Gauteng Health MEC, replied about illegal tenders. Allegations of corruption had been referred to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) by the Premier and the provincial government and matters are being dealt with by law enforcement agencies. Factual credible information must be received from the SIU before action can be taken. Corruption is not tolerated in the province and matters will be addressed accordingly based on factual information. A response has been requested from the Department of Health HOD on the matter of the distribution of cigarettes to a clinic. He announced that the family in Tembisa that lost a loved one received a visit from government officials. On the support given to the taxi industry, he said that there is a good relationship between the Department of Transport and the various taxi associations in the province and support is provided by supplying sanitisers and disinfectants to ensure compliance with the health regulations. A stipend has been provided to the taxi associations and a memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed to support the taxi associations with administration. The Health Department is satisfied with the work being done by the taxi industry.

Follow-Up Questions
Ms Mkhaliphi said to the COGTA MEC that the response to the questions was disappointing. If the MEC has no response, he should have requested time to gather information and respond in writing. It is unacceptable for the MEC not to have knowledge of the housing projects in Gauteng. Clear plans should be drafted on how the challenges will be addressed. She requested a clear report on the evicted people in Alexandra who were not given an alternative place to stay. It is unacceptable for the MEC to have no knowledge of the evictions. COGTA should conduct proper oversight on the City of Johannesburg to ensure it is held accountable for the evictions.

Mr Hadebe asked for clarity on the water storage tanks that have geographic coordinates but have not been installed and asked why this matter is ongoing especially as there are people who need water. Why are the tanks are still in warehouses? On the R1.9 billion which has not been transferred to municipalities, he asked why there is a delay and when the funds will be transferred. He welcomed municipalities submitting their COVID-19 response plans and said that oversight needs to be performed on the municipalities. It is concerning that municipalities cannot provide figures for the COVID response plan which means that the monitoring of funds cannot be done. It is expected that provincial government knows how much was reprioritised and how it was spent.

The Chairperson asked if the COVID-19 status of the people absconding was known before they left since there are no tracing mechanisms in place. She agreed that Tshwane is under administration but there are riots about electricity in Mamelodi and waste not being collected in the city. In the absence of the Tshwane councillors, who are responsible for responding to COVID-19, who is responsible for this and its expense?

Mr Mamabolo, Acting Gauteng Health MEC, clarified that the Health HOD is supposed to present on the matter of the clinic that received cigarettes and the report will be provided to the Committee.

MEC Maile replied that the matters are taken seriously and that sink holes and housing projects are two different matters but are interrelated. The unfinished housing projects will receive R12 billion to resolve the issue. The sink hole was addressed in the mention of the Elijah Barayi project. There was no arrogance in the manner that the questions were responded to. The elements of the proposed plans were highlighted and the suggestion was given to present some of the plans to the Committee. Issues are being addressed and resources are being allocated to resolve them. No eviction instruction was given by COGTA but he re-emphasised that illegal land invasions will be prevented. The Department is not relaxed in addressing evictions and no municipality in Gauteng can act without being held accountable and those that do not comply will face disciplinary action.

On the water tanks in warehouses, this is unfortunate but is a reality. A false impression cannot be given to the Committee. The reason for the tanks being in warehouses is that municipalities do not have the financial resources to install the tanks and the Department and Water and Sanitation does not provide funds for the installation of the tanks. On the maintenance of the tanks, municipalities would have to initiate that process. The Committee will provide solutions to some of the problems which is why transparency is important when the Department presents to it and provides responses to its questions.

On the R1.9 billion transfer to municipalities, this is based on how the equitable share is distributed by government in portions. The Committee would have been misled if the actual figures were provided by municipalities because some figures would have been misleading. Municipalities have been advised to use the reprioritised money for service delivery as highlighted in the presentation.

On the riots in Mamelodi, MEC Maile replied that the events are accurate as there have been waste management challenges. The City of Tshwane is under administration and one of the issues was the 6.2% salary increase as agreed by the administrators, the bargaining council and SALGA. There is an issue about the benchmarking of salaries in Tshwane with those of other metros and relooking at the salary structure of all 25 000 employees of the Tshwane municipality. The employees argued that the municipality had R1.3 billion in an investment account but it was clarified to the employees that once the money in the account is used then the municipality would be labelled bankrupt. With the improvement of revenue collection, there is hope that the municipality will not benchmark salaries. Some workers that have returned to work are being attacked and threatened. There is the disconnection of electricity which is sabotage due to those who have returned to work. Law enforcement agencies have been asked to intervene to protect the workers that have returned to work. Since the City of Tshwane was placed under administration, there has been an improvement in service delivery.

In Tshwane there has been a backlog of mitigations worth R3 billion because the DA cancelled the contracts of contractors who were labelled suspicious of non-compliance. Renegotiations are being discussed with the contractors. A detailed report can be provided and he assured the Committee that every decision on the City of Tshwane was taken in the best interests of the people of the city and that the challenges will be addressed. On the monitoring of funds in the absence of Tshwane councillors, he said that the ward-based war rooms are chaired by the councillors in other areas but in Tshwane a delegation of community development workers (CDW) was agreed on because a vacancy cannot be allowed. The DA led wards are the only ones that refused for work to be done.

Ms Mkhaliphi said that the COGTA MEC was correct in saying that the COVID-19 regulations address the needs of people. She asked for clarity on Tshwane resident Mr Lucky Nkhwashu who texted the MEC and raised complaints on his electricity being cut by a specific company. She said that the COGTA MEC’s responses were dismissive, arrogant, and vulgar. She asked if the messages were real and requested clarity.

Mr Maile said that Mr Nkhwashu, whose electricity had been disconnected due to non payment, had sought special favours as he said he was a member of the ANC. We cannot allow people to use the name of the ANC and drag it in the mud. He pleaded with Ms Mkhaliphi to request the full transcription of messages from Mr Nkhwashu. Members of the public have a tendency of insulting officials and officials do not react because there is a responsibility to serve. Mr Nkhwashu was given a response on the reason for the power cut. He said that members of the public are not insulted by public officials.

MEC Mokgethi replied that there is no tracing mechanism strategy for those who abscond. She agreed with the Chairperson that there is a possibility that the homeless people could be spreading the virus. A visit was made to one of the shelters and a decision made to have a file for each individual in the shelters. The Health Department has provided support for the initiative and conduct daily mass screenings in the shelters. The Department of Home Affairs will be involved to assist those individuals who do not have identity documents to enable them to apply for the R350 social grant.

Follow-up Questions
Ms Tlou asked the COGTA MEC on the people that received the variation ruling to be reinstated and asked where the variation awards should be submitted.

Mr Ceza said de-densification of informal settlements focused on the removal of people. He raised concerns about the children that will be moved during the removals and about the conduct of public officials when interacting with the public. He asked if the statements made to Mr Nkhwashu are true and why they were made. He asked why the army was deployed in communities and for the thought process in the decision to replace the police.

Ms Mkhaliphi thanked the COGTA MEC for being honest and said that the MEC has a responsibility to lead without reacting based on emotions. She proposed that the MEC refrain from responding in anger to the public.

MEC Maile requested Ms Tlou to forward the information on the variations. On de-densification, he said that when people are moved they are not moved to areas that are far from work opportunities, amenities, schools or entertainment. Mega settlements have been initiated to build 10 000 plus houses with consideration for social amenities.

On the statement made to Mr Nkhwashu, MEC Maile said that he will not admit to anything because he is not on trial and accepted the counsel of Ms Mkhaliphi on public conduct.

He thanked the Committee for engaging with the province and welcomed all interventions. The province will provide further information on areas of concern to the Committee.

The Chairperson thanked the Gauteng delegation and said that the deliberations were thorough. The reports from the province were detailed and she was satisfied that the province is open for further discussions. The work of the province was appreciated and Gauteng has improved on its audit outcomes.

Meeting adjourned.