Answer to a question from a reader

What can I do about the unfair allocation of RDP houses to people in Somerset West?

The short answer

You could ask the MEC for Human Settlements to review your application.

The whole question

I live in Somerset West. My community and I are very disappointed in the manner some people get RDP houses while they earn a good salary. Yet people that own a pension and earn so much less don't get a house allocated to them. There is so much to say about the unfairness of the allocation of these houses. Who can help us with this?

The long answer

Unfortunately this is something that many people in South Africa are complaining about. It’s not just that there is often unfairness in the way that houses are allocated, but also that the number of new houses built every year falls way behind the number of houses needed. There is a huge housing backlog, which means that many people have to wait for many years before they get a house.

I am assuming that you have applied for an RDP house, and are still waiting for one to be allocated to you? If you have applied, you can check your status on the housing list by phoning 0800 146873 and have your ID number ready.

You could also take the proof of your application to the municipal office where you applied and ask them what is happening with your application. If you do not get any help there, you could ask the MEC for Human Settlements to review your application. The MEC of each province is entitled to review applications on a case-by-case basis.

The MEC for the Western Cape is Minister Tertius Simmers, who said in a speech on 24 May 2020:

“As I reflect on my first year as the Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, my drive to serve the people of this province is becoming greater with every single day. There is no bigger calling than making a difference in the lives of people.

We have a set of criteria, where we’re prioritising:

  • The elderly;

  • People with disabilities;

  • Backyard dwellers and

  • Those who have been the longest on the waiting list (15 years and longer)”

His office can be contacted at 079 769 1207 (Please Call Me).

As you say that your community is very unhappy about the allocation of houses in Somerset West, perhaps you can organise them to sign a petition asking for the MEC to come and address the community about the housing situation. You can send it to the MEC’s spokesperson at this email link: [email protected].

You could also approach the Development Action Group (DAG) for advice and assistance: 

Tel: 021 448 7886

Email: [email protected]

Answered on Aug. 26, 2020, 1:28 p.m.

See more questions and answers

Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.