Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Human Settlements Portfolio Chairperson, Councillor Nomvuselelo Tontsi said following the first meeting of the Missionvale Service Delivery Task Team.
The Task Team will deal with Missionvale and the surrounding, focusing on service delivery challenges. Housing, Sanitation and Electricity will be the Task Team areas of focus.
Nelson Mandela Bay Deputy Executive Mayor, Bicks Ndoni and Councillor Tontsi have been mandated by the Mayoral Committee to lead the task team.
The Task Team comprises of Nelson Mandela Bay political principals (Deputy Mayor and Councillor Tontsi and other Human Settlements Standing Committee members), National and Provincial Human Settlements Department, National Human Settlements development agency HDA, all Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality service delivery directorates (departments), like Infrastructure, Sanitation and Electricity.
As informed by the community, the Task Team will has been identified the issue of housing beneficiary management, corruption and manipulation of the housing system as the major causes of housing delivery challenges in the Missionvale area.
These issues have resulted in a number of government subsidy (RDP houses) being occupied by illegal occupants, one person owning more than one houses and people who were approved for those house continue to stay in shacks.
Tontsi said while as the Task Team they will be dealing with a number of issues in Missionvale, the most urgent task is to evict the illegal occupants.
“Our people have spent years living in shacks while their houses are occupied by illegal and corrupt individuals who some of them do not even qualify to get an RDP house because they are employed in nice jobs. That is unacceptable, we cannot allow that. In our quest to turnaround this department, that will be our first task,” said Councillor Tontsi.
Officials from Human Settlements have already been instructed to meet with legal services so that legal processes of eviction can unfold. In the next meeting of the Task Team on January 25, 2016 a progress report it expected to be tabled.
Missionvale has experienced a number of challenges like sanitation, storm water, illegal occupation of RDP houses, illegal electricity connections and roads among others.
Closing the meeting the Deputy Executive Mayor said under the current leadership they can not allow the situation of Missionvale to continue.
“If not attended the problematic issues in Missionvale have a potential of brewing a revolt from the community. As government we promised then a better life for all, not for a few corrupt and connected individuals,” said Deputy Mayor Ndoni.
He said within two weeks they will lead the Task Team on a working visit to Missionvale where they will identify areas in terms of short, medium and long term priorities.
“Gone are the days where issues are attended perpetually. We have to set deadlines and communicate to our people about their own development. They will be forming part of the Task Team through the leadership elected by them to walk with us this journey of making Missionvale a better place to live and play for our children,” said Deputy Mayor Ndoni.