South Africa : Housing MEC commits to eradicating informal settlements

By Kagiso Metswamere

Mafikeng - The new MEC for Housing in the North West, Desbo Sefanyetso, is committed and looking forward to eradicating informal settlements in the province.

The new department has been separated from the Department of Local Government and Housing, which was previously headed by Howard Yawa, who is now the MEC for the provincial Department of Public Safety.

Speaking to BuaNews on Wednesday, MEC Sefanyetso said she was more than ready to take on the department especially to ensure that informal settlements are completely eradicated in the province.

"I am very excited about this job and very much ready to serve the people of the province. I want to make sure that we continue to build on what the former MEC Yawa has done in delivering houses, to continue to make sure that people get decent houses which they are entitled to receive," she said.

Ms Sefanyetso, a teacher by profession holds a B tech honours in education management from the Tshwane University of Technology.

The MEC, who grew up at the Chaneng Village near Rustenburg, has done much work at the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) and trade union federation COSATU.

Ms Sefanyetso explained that even though she never worked in government before, she was a strong and hard working woman who enjoyed learning and working with people.

"I do not think I will have problem in this position as MEC because I will be working with capable men and women who have being doing excellent work in this sector.

"Nobody was born an MEC so the fact that I am new in this position does not mean that I cannot do this job better," she said, adding that she will do this job to the best of her ability.

MEC Sefanyetso further said she understands most of the challenges faced by the people in rural areas especially with regard to houses.

"I must mention that even though there is a lot of progress being done in providing people with the houses, there are still some challenges in the rural areas were people are still living in bad conditions.

"We will ensure that as we move forward our main focus will be to provide houses to the people in rural areas.

"We have already began now to put the staff of the department together and also identify a building were our department will operate from," the MEC said.

She said she was going to make sure that she meets with her staff and all the relevant stakeholders who are important in making sure that people get the houses they deserve.

Ntombiekaya Ngxingo, Chairperson of the Masizakhe Women's Group, a construction company in Klerksdorp, welcomed the appointment of the MEC and the new department.

She told BuaNews that they accepted the changes made by the new administration and hoped that they would establish a good working relationship with the new MEC of Housing.

"We have acknowledged that in the new administration there are changes which are made and we also understand that these changes are made with the intention to better the lives of the people.

"This department has been made specifically to deal with the challenges of houses in our province. We welcome it and hope that our people will get the houses at a faster pace," she said. - BuaNews