ActionSA Condemns Free State Department of Human Settlements’ R600 Million Budget Forfeiture, With 11,000 Housing Backlog

ActionSA expresses its concern over the Free State Department of Human Settlements’ forfeiture of a staggering R600 million in unspent budget, which is set to be returned to the Treasury.

Premier Dukwana, in his February 2023 State of the Province address, pledged to complete the 11,000 incomplete houses and resolve stalled projects in collaboration with the National Home Builders Registration Council.

The revelation that the Human Settlements Department failed to utilize the allocated budget is disheartening. This significant sum could have been instrumental in finishing abandoned projects like the White City Integrated Social Housing Project, initially valued at R110 million, which has been incomplete since Ace Magashule’s premiership.

Furthermore, the forfeited funds could have addressed critical issues such as the removal of asbestos roofing, where R255 million has been embezzled. Despite ActionSA’s earlier statement urging newly appointed MEC Makume to prioritize the completion of houses due to escalating homelessness, this plea has seemingly fallen on deaf ears. Now, unused funds are set to be returned to the Treasury.

Residents of the Free State lack confidence in Premier Dukwana, as the province’s infrastructure continues to deteriorate under his tenure. Concerns are mounting about his ability to address the leadership and service delivery crisis inherited from his predecessor, Ace Magashule.

ActionSA emphasizes the urgent need for Premier Dukwana to institute effective systems and bring about positive change in the Free State. An intensified effort is required to address departments failing to utilize their budgets.

Despite South Africa expending 34.5% of its national budget on public sector wages, our state institutions are incapable of fulfilling their most fundamental mandates.

The government’s systemic failures have far-reaching consequences, eroding the fabric of South Africa’s social structure. South Africans are robbed of their dignity, access to opportunities is stifled, and the economy has been ruined by the government’s continued failures.

ActionSA calls upon Premier Dukwana to honour his commitment to the people of the Free State by reviving abandoned projects and constructing more houses which are imperative steps to rectify the current state of affairs and fulfil the province’s needs.