SA Affordable Housing November / December 2021 - Page 4


Quo vadis , housing ?

Whilst Covid does nothing to help the country ’ s housing problem , it cannot continually be used as an excuse to slow down building affordable houses whether they be defined as social , affordable or whatever .

In the latest Auditor General ’ s consolidated report , the state of our municipalities is nothing short of abysmal and disgraceful . Very simply , the AG clearly states that the lack of controls and unqualified people are responsible for this mess . Consultants are brought in either too late or advice offered is not taken up . I am not a great supporter of consultants myself as I can never understand why we pay people to do a job and then pay someone additional to help such people do their job !
The AG has put forward the following suggestions :
• Invest in preventive controls . More effective dealing with the aftereffects of corruption , mismanagement , fraud , and misuse of public funds
• Significantly improve monitoring , review and oversight by senior officials , municipal leaders , and councils
• Use the AG reports , briefings , and engagements to identify key areas that needed attention and would benefit most from preventive controls
• Effect consequences for accountability failures
In the 2019-20 period alone , fruitless , and wasteful expenditure totalled R3.47-billion !
The AG observed widespread non-compliance and reported material non-compliance at 86 % of municipalities .
Material irregularities ( such as procurement and payments , interest and penalties , revenue management , and investments and assets ) totalled and estimate of R2.04-billion .
The report concludes with , “ we are fully committed to implementing the enhanced powers given to our office , without fear or favour or prejudice .”
That people of this country are angry is an understatement and the slow pace of housing , of which most rests in the
Rory Macnamara , Editor hands of government and municipalities , needs to be improved upon without hesitation . Accountability is not a word used in these levels of government and the AG must use her powers not only for the perpetrators but from the top . Remember the rot starts from the top !
“ We are fully committed to implementing the enhanced powers given to our office , without fear or favour or prejudice .”
This issue presents a balance of finance , funding , legal , technical , features , materials and why one must use qualified people in all aspects of building – especially plumbing , which if not installed correctly will cause an unhealthy and unsafe environment .
Next issue we will be looking at timber for housing , and all the reasons we should be using timber rather than the reasons why not to .
As we come to the end of 2021 , a trying and frustrating year for all , let us all look to 2022 as a year of moving forward . The President has announced , again , an infrastructure programme that will start boosting the economy and reducing our exceptionally high unemployment rate . Let us all trust that this plan will be put into effect sooner rather than later .



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2 NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2021 SAAffordHousing saaffordablehousingmag SA Affordable Housing www . saaffordablehousing . co . za