GAUTENG DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING: PUBLIC PROTECTOR RELEASES REPORT
28 September 2000
The Public Protector, Adv Selby Baqwa SC has released his report on an
investigation of alleged irregularities pertaining to the affairs of the Gauteng
Department of Housing. The office of the Public Protector conducted this
investigation after receiving a number of individual complaints in connection
with the administration by the Gauteng Department of Housing (the Department) of
matters relating to housing, housing subsidies and housing projects.
Complaints were received from various individuals, various CIVIC
associations, a political party, concerned resident groups and employees of the
The following specific complaints and allegations that were brought to the
Public Protector's attention were investigated:
- That the former MEC for Housing and Land Affairs, Mr D Mofokeng,
interfered with the selection process and appointment of two senior managers
of the Department.
- That the Department failed to safeguard its own interests and those of the
state by allowing the original copies of contracts to be put at the disposal
- That certain companies offering an inferior product at a price higher than
that of competitors, were appointed as consultants.
- That the Department prematurely considered paying a developer an amount of
- That criminal charges and the suspension of an employee were withdrawn to
obtain her silence with regard to her alleged knowledge of incidents of
impropriety that had occurred within the Department.
- That an employee was involved in criminal activities and was defrauding
members of the public in their dealings with the Department.
- That the Department failed to attend to the complaints and enquiries of
the public and that no appropriate mechanism exists to address complaints
- That all members of the Gauteng Housing Board are not objective and
impartial in their decisions concerning housing projects.
- That the Department sells state land to large "white owned"
corporations at discounted prices and far below market value while persons
from the community concerned have to pay exorbitant prices if they wish to
acquire land in the same area.
Thorough investigation revealed that the above allegations were largely
The office of the Public Protector also investigated alleged regularities
pertaining to the Protea South Project Linked Housing Subsidy Scheme, and the
Vlakfontein / Hammanskraal Project Linked Housing Subsidy.
From the investigation of the matters referred to in this Report, the Public
Protector has come to the conclusion that:
- There is lack of proper control measures in the Department regarding the
control and safeguarding of vital documentation, such as contracts.
- The mechanism established by the Department to attend to complaints by the
public in connection with matters pertaining to housing is inadequate in
terms of its capacity. Officials of the Department and the public are
generally not aware either of the existence of the Small Complaints Bureau
or of its powers and functions.
- The participation of members of a Provincial Housing Development Board in
the lodging of an application and/or claims for payments by a developer to
the Board can create a perception of impropriety, even though the interest
of such a member has been declared and he/she excused him/herself from
meetings of the Board when the development concerned was discussed.
- There appears to be a lack of proper liaison between the Gauteng Housing
Board and the Department regarding proposed housing projects and compliance
with the legislative and other prescripts pertaining to the approval,
implementation and administration of such projects.
- There appears to be a lack of training of the officials of the Department
and the members of the Gauteng Housing Board regarding the provisions of the
legislation and other prescripts relevant to housing matters.
- In the cases of the Protea South, Vlakfontein and Hammanskraal projects
referred to in this Report, there had been substantial non-compliance with
the provisions of the Implementation Manual, to the detriment of the
interests of the State and the communities affected by these projects. There
had also been an alarming lack of control by the Department of these
projects, which resulted in substantial overpayments being made to
The Public Protector's recommendations include the following:
- That the Head of Department ensure that staff of the Department
responsible for housing development matters be adequately trained in terms
of the applicable legislation;
- That the Head of Department investigate whether disciplinary measures
should be taken against any official of the Department who might have been
responsible for lack of control and non-compliance;
- That the Head of Department, in consultation with the Auditor-General and
/ or the Heath Special Investigating Unit, take urgent steps to recover
money that was unduly paid to developers involved in the two housing subsidy
projects mentioned above;
- That the Head of the Department, in consultation with the Gauteng MEC
responsible for housing, the Office of the Auditor-General and the Heath
Special Investigating Unit, establish a departmental investigating body to
investigate the housing development projects administered by the Department
since 1995, with a view to determining whether or not there was proper
compliance with the provisions of the relevant legislation and other
prescripts, and if not, that appropriate remedial steps be taken and the
Head of Department advised on what to do to prevent a recurrence of similar
Enquiries: Nicolette Teichmann
Tel: (012) 322 1190
Cell: 082 333 5624