Gauteng residential rental stock must be accelerated

July 17, 2017

Poor governance and a lack of policy implementation by the ANC over the past 23 years has created a housing backlog in Gauteng of over 600 000 units. A key element to alleviating this backlog is to increase the number of affordable rental residential units.

Last week Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Paul Mashatile promised to undertake a plan of action to resolve the crisis of hi-jacked buildings across the province.

The MEC suggested that people who are living in unsuitable conditions should report their landlords to the Rental Housing Tribunal and report illegal occupations of buildings to the relevant authorities.

However, what MEC Mashatile fails to comprehend is that, without suitable alternative accommodation – and regulated rental fees, the situation which he is trying to address will continue unabated.

The challenges arising from hi-jacked buildings require more than just tenants, who often have no other option but to rent from illegal landlords, reporting problems. There needs to be a concrete plan in place to find suitable alternative accommodation.

Without buy-in from the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements, who either purchase buildings to be converted into rental stock, or build rental stock of their own – the MEC’s plans are near sighted.

The DA has always advocated for a greater emphasis to be placed on increasing rental stock and we will continue to drive this agenda through the Gauteng Legislature.

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