A dearth of female contractors caused the Department of Human Settlements to miss one of its targets in line with the empowerment of previously disadvantaged groups through the Human Settlements Development Grant allocation.
This emerged during a briefing to the standing committee on human settlements by the department on its fourth quarterly performance report for January to March.
The department said: “There were too few contractors with women represented in the ownership tendering for jobs in the construction arena.”
To remedy the situation, the department said it would “continue to encourage and prioritise women-led contractors to participate in the construction environment”.
The department has exceeded 23 of its 26 targets in the past quarter, including the acceleration of housing programmes handed over to municipalities for beneficiaries.
Committee chairperson Matlhodi Maseko said: “The Covid-19 pandemic presented a unique challenge to the province’s housing goals.
“The department provided nearly 4100 homes in the last quarter.
“This goes a long way in helping some of the most vulnerable to adequately social distance at this time.”
Meanwhile, Human Settlements MEC Tertuis Simmers warned Capetonians not to lease or sell their state-subsidised homes.
Simmers said: “I am deeply concerned at the increased reports from various stakeholders about residents who have received a fully subsidised home from government, who have either rented or sold the property.
“This information tells us that there was never a need for a home, which means government is being defrauded. In fact, I regard the action of anyone that embarks on this route as unethical, as they’re denying one of the almost 600000 people that are currently on the Western Cape Housing Demand Database a housing opportunity.
“A fully subsidised house costs the state close to R500000.
“Between May and the end of June 2020, we’ve received 11 official complaints about houses in Forest Village, Delft, Blue Downs, Eersteriver, Langeberg municipality and Beaufort West municipality either being rented or which might have been sold.
“In one report, a couple in Forest Village is being accused of currently renting two properties. This excludes the informal reports that are being highlighted on social media.”