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Mmamoloko Kubayi said that the SIU will investigate fraud and corruption in government housing agencies.

Mmamoloko Kubayi, the Minister of Human Settlements, has announced measures to speed up the construction and delivery of RDP houses in order to substantially reduce the country’s housing backlog.

These findings were made by Kubayi when she unveiled new criteria for gaining access to government buildings. She also stated that public officials earning a maximum income or compensation of R22 000 now receive government assistance in obtaining bank loans, up from R15000 previously.

“We also took time to engage and consult various stakeholders within the human settlements sector. Armed with the analysis and the first-hand experience of the many challenges society is facing, we decided to prioritise the following areas in the coming financial year:

Increasing the pace of provision of title deeds to rightful property owners, prioritising the pre-1994 stock.

· Eliminating (dilapidated) mud houses, especially in the rural areas (prioritising the elderly and child-headed households).

· Digitisation of the beneficiary list to make it more reliable, transparent, easily accessible and avoid fraud and corruption.

· Unblocking of blocked projects.

· Eliminating asbestos roofs across provinces which is a critical health issue

Kubayi further stated that she has chosen to intervene in order to resolve the problem of many incomplete and completed projects that have not been inhabited due to a lack of bulk infrastructure.

Meanwhile, she promised to instruct the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to look into any reported examples of irregularities and mismanagement in all government agencies, including the Housing Development Agency (HDA).

During her media briefing, Kubayi discussed the department’s intentions for strengthening services in the human settlements sector. She also proposed increased funding for traditional RDP development, expressing her hope that work sites would not be abandoned due to non-payment.

“I have said that wrongdoing and corruption will be dealt with, without fear or favour and I encourage those with any evidence of wrongdoing to take the information to law enforcement agencies,” Kubayi said.

She said the SIU would conduct a preliminary investigation before the law enforcement agency could recommend to President Cyril Ramaphosa to make a proclamation.

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