MOGALE CITY - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela collected hundreds of complaints about issues ranging from housing to corruption during public hearings on Gauteng's West Rand today.
Housing problems topped the list when she met with residents in Mogale City, who vented their frustration with their municipality. Some said their constant pleas to authorities had fallen on deaf ears.
Madonsela, whose office has been inundated with paperwork, vowed to do some more probing into allegations of corruption.
She is holding public hearings across the country on health and other poverty-related issues, but communities highlighted several service delivery problems.
"We also have had many other problems that are not related to health, like poverty, unemployment, access to food banks and the problem of people with disabilities. Lastly RDP housing – it emerged as the key problem today," said Madonsela, who has heard similar complaints on her national road trip.
"We had more than 130 complaints on RDP housing whereas we were here for health and poverty," Madonsela told eNCA.com.
Madonsela had invited officials from different government departments to address issues raised by community members.
Mogale City residents said RDP houses in their area are being sold and illegally occupied.
"We have a problem of housing allocation. We want to know what the process of allocating houses is because you find that they take a family of five and give them all houses. There was an RDP project in Extension Two and there were people who bought other people’s RDP houses.
"The then Housing MEC Nomvula Mokonyane did an audit it and found that about 150 people who live there are not rightful owners and the go-ahead was that they are going to be removed. But up until today, it has never happened," said Munsieville resident Tebogo Motswahae.
"People are renting out RDP houses and that is a big problem in Munsieville."
Another resident said officials in the area are prioritising friends for houses.
"In Munsieville houses are built for family and friends. People who have put their names on the list a long time ago don’t get houses but those that put their names on the list yesterday get houses," Munsieville native Thebe Mojaki said at the hearings.
"I have four children born in Munsieville, not one of my children was given a house."
Madonsela received a total of 259 complaints from the public at the meeting around issues ranging from health to corruption.
"The first problem they had this morning was the issue of waiting for services, waiting for your file at the hospital. They also wait for doctors and medicine. The other issue was the problem of rural clinics," she said.
"We have a clinic that is supposed to open until 4 but it only opens until one and it was explained to us that the nurses arrive late and they leave early because they don’t have people that live in the community."
"We had the people from the Department of Health, Social Development and the municipalities addressing the community on those issues so they can fix those problems. We also have the MMC (member of mayoral committee) for Housing or Human Settlements addressing matters relating to housing. So they made undertakings regarding what they are going to do to fix the problems," Madonsela said.
The public also alleged corruption in municipalities and Madonsela said investigations will be launched.
"From our side we will compile a report which we will forward to them expeditiously with a view to facilitating the quick solutions. Then there are those serious allegations of corruption, fraud and jobs for pals. Those we will investigate ourselves and then submit a report within the next six months," she added.
The public protector has already held hearings in North West, Mpumalanga, Western Cape and Eastern Cape and will move on to KwaZulu Natal next week.