Plans are afoot for the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality to bypass the Eastern Cape provincial government in delivering houses to the poor.
The level 3 accreditation status that could see Bhisho pushed aside in processing housing subsidy applications and screening potential beneficiaries is expected to be granted to the Mandela metro by the national government.
Human settlement committee chairperson councillor Fikile Desi has confirmed that the institution would soon be able to apply for housing construction and identifying subsidy beneficiaries directly to the national Human Settlements Department.
“Towards the end of this year the metro would have its housing delivery role increased considerably to fast-track delivery” he said.
There has been dissatisfaction with the province as officials in the metro perceive it was impeding delivery by its bureaucratic red tape.
Human settlement director Mvuleni Mapu said an assessment report by an accreditation team as well as the one submitted to the parliamentary portfolio committee had revealed a serious lack of capacity at the provincial government level. “The province, which is supposed to capacitate the municipality, has been found to be without capacity. We have capacity to deliver as the metro.”
He said it was the tenuous relationships between Bhisho and the municipality that saw them pushing to be granted the level 3 accreditation status.
This year the municipality received only R525m, which is almost half the R1.2bn applied for from the national Treasury to build houses in this financial year.
From the amount allocated, R329m is meant for the rectification of defective RDP houses and only R196m meant for new housing construction. While the target for the year was 7900 housing units, only 1700 houses would be built.