Don't Be Held Up by Analysis, Get on with Housing Delivery
Housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela's Insight article, "Housing policy needs new foundations (Cape Times, July 5), refers.
Housing is one of the key issues in this city and, as the MEC correctly pointed out, the level of debate and policy interaction needs strengthening. He also finally lays out that while we have a free supply of housing (which cost the state more than R100 000 a unit), the demand will always be infinite.
With regard to on-selling, let's move on. When one is living on the poverty line, why would one not sell a unit that was a gift? It is a rational outcome.
Housing is critical, without it, what chance education and security? It is good to have an MEC in this portfolio settling into his position. Thankfully, the premier resisted press speculation around the local government elections about a change. The shifts, with three MECs in five years in this portfolio, in the last administration were unhelpful. It needs stability.
There are few people who "get" the housing environment. Mainly this is because it is complex and needs some knowledge of political history, economics, maths, construction, law, estate agency, and conveyancing.
Not many have that mix of skills and we have proved poor at putting together mixed teams across departments and tiers of government. This does mean not there are not intelligent, proactive people - few, I agree - whom the MEC should meet regularly. Ideally, they should populate and lead his department or advise him.
The MEC correctly identifies many of the issues, many of which are not under his direct control, although he can influence them. Unfortunately, he does not cover the areas under his control and what he has done to improve these.
It is good to have vastly increased transparency and interaction. There remain areas for improvement.
These include a need to implement immediately a basic performance management tool. This is as simple as a staff member in the MEC's office having a dedicated complaints e-mail address and a toll-free number. …