Hon Deputy Speaker, hon members and distinguished guests, on executing its constitutional mandate and guided by the Rules of the Parliament and oversight and accountability model, the portfolio committee undertook an oversight visit to the Eastern Cape province. The objective of the visit was to ascertain progress made in addressing service delivery issues raised during the 2009 portfolio committee visits; progress in achieving outcome 8 outputs, as adopted by Government, which seeks to achieve integrated human settlements and improved quality of household life; and compliance to policies and legislative framework in service delivery, including the implementation of the urban settlement development grant.
The delegation held briefing sessions with the MEC and her department, including site visits to various districts and municipalities. These include Amathole, Chris Hani, O R Tambo, Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City. All observations and recommendations by the portfolio committee are captured in a consolidated committee report. However, the portfolio committee would like to present a couple of recommendations.
The Eastern Cape's challenges are not unique to those of the rest of the country. For an example, there is still a battle in achieving an integrated service delivery approach due to a lack of bulk infrastructure and maintenance.
In as far as the acquisition of land is concerned, the process to release or assemble state land is quite lengthy, whilst private land is very costly. Social housing programmes, which aim to provide affordable housing, are not receiving much priority, especially in the district municipalities and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan.
The management of beneficiary lists is still a challenge. Thirty days of paying service providers is not adhered to. Rural sanitation programmes, particularly for farm worker communities, is still a challenge. The issue of unfilled vacancies in response to the President's call is still a challenge. There is also still a lack of appropriate understanding and common interpretation of the purpose of the Urban Settlement Development Grant, USDG, recommendations.
The committee recommends that there should be an acceleration of social housing programmes and an expansion of the programme to the districts, as well as Nelson Mandela Metro. Land issues interventions by the Minister on Fitch's Corner, Orange Groove, Buffalo City, as well as Groggo on land challenges are requested. These include making sure that it does not serve as a hindrance to development, especially to the poor. Acceleration and acquisition of land release of the state should be prioritised.
Compliance with the Division of Revenue Act, especially on USDG, should be adhered to. There should be facilitation of intergovernmental relations and co-operative governance for efficient and effective human settlement delivery. A policy should be developed towards the management of the beneficiary list.
The Minister is recommended to provide progress reports on the following: Jansenville, Klipplaat and Dansandi, including Cala and Elliot projects reported with alleged irregularity and inappropriate utilisation of state subsidy houses.
Informal settlement upgrading and access to improved basic services should be prioritised and the bucket system should be eradicated in all informal settlements, including Nelson Mandela Bay, Amathole, Chris Hani and Cacadu. The portfolio committee tables this oversight report to be considered by the House. I thank you. [Applause.]
There was no debate.