Roughly 41 000 housing opportunities were created in 2009/10. This dipped to around 16 000 units in 2014/15.
“The lowest delivery of houses was in the last financial year and the drop can be attributed to the R2.6 billion irregular expenditure, part of which was redirected to repairing hailstorm damaged houses and the other to pay for invoices that were accumulated over the previous financial years,” said MEC Mamabolo.
He said an internal investigation is underway to identify the officials responsible for irregular expenditure. Some senior managers have since voluntarily resigned following questions about irregular expenditure.
In order to reverse the declining trend, the MEC said the department has implemented a turnaround strategy. This includes the setting up of a central Project Management Office to help improve internal efficiencies, effectiveness, contract and project management.
MEC Mamabolo said since the turnaround strategy was put in place, progress has been recorded this financial year. Over 10 000 units have been built in only half a year. The MEC said they will use the last half of this fiscal year to exceed the target of the last financial year.
“We have (seen a) quarter-on-quarter improvement of 126% and we are hoping that with each remaining quarter, we will up our figures.”
The MEC said the department has improved its financial management compared with the past two to three years after receiving an improved and unqualified audit opinion in 2014/15.
Commenting on the situation at Kya Sands informal settlement, MEC Mamabolo reiterated that the community is being engaged. The department and the City of Johannesburg - led by the National Department of Water and Sanitation - are finalising plans for the implementation of bulk infrastructure in the area.