Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Close to 19 000 WC housing beneficiaries affected, due to extortion

Twenty-five human settlements projects between 2018 and 2022, have been interrupted in the Western Cape, due to extortion, affecting about 18 721 beneficiaries.

This was revealed by the Western Cape’s Human Settlements Department, after a parliamentary question by the Democratic Alliance (DA).

According to the department, those mostly affected are in Forest Village with 3 254 beneficiaries affected, followed by Ithemba, Eerste River with 2 400, and Delft 3&5 with 1911 beneficiaries affected.

DA spokesperson on Human Settlements, Matlhodi Maseko, condemned the incidents, saying potential homeowners sadly needs to wait a bit longer.

‘’It is evident that the impact of this criminality is not only draining public coffers and halting critical service delivery but the human impact is also very real.’’

“Fighting these faceless, criminal extortionists who deny beneficiaries access to the dignity of home ownership requires immediate cooperation across all branches of government as well as communities. Community members across the Western Cape must report to the SAPS and other law enforcement agencies when they have intel on cases of extortion,’’ she added.

Maseko said extortion at public infrastructure projects can be prevented where interested parties work together.

‘’This will especially require cooperation between SAPS and other law enforcement agencies in the Western Cape to safeguard public infrastructure projects, such as housing developments, school building projects, and public transport infrastructure, from criminal activity,’’ said DA spokesperson on Human Settlements, Matlhodi Maseko.

Maseko invited SAPS, the Provincial Human Settlement Department and other stakeholders to appear before the Western Cape Provincial Parliament’s Standing Committee on Human Settlements, on Friday, 27 January 2023, to discuss a way forward regarding the ongoing extortion, assault, and intimidation at infrastructure projects by unidentified crime syndicates in the Western Cape.

‘’I look forward to the committee meeting this month and hope that tangible strategies are brought to the table to curb the criminality and intimidation at infrastructure projects,” she said.

 

SCREENSHOT of Beneficiaries affected by WC housing project

Done By: Mitchum George

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