A 38-year-old unemployed mud shack-dweller in Mpumalanga who has been waiting for his RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME – RDP house for the past 13 years says he is now too ashamed and finds it embarrassing to continue wearing his ANC T-shirts.
Nkosinathi Lubisi, who is from Mandela Park near Matsulu outside Mbombela, lamented that he was put on a waiting list of potential beneficiaries since applying for a government RDP house in 2003.
“I have given up on the ANC. I am embarrassed to keep wearing their T-shirts. I have been a member of the party for such a long time and have never benefited from it. My shack is very old and it is falling apart,” Lubisi lamented.
Lubisi revealed that the last time he checked on the progress that has been made concerning his application for the RDP house which he was promised, he was told to remove his mother from the system as a beneficiary. He did this, but the action did not yield any result.
“I apply for an RDP house every year and I am now growing emotionally exhausted, especially since my neighbors got an RDP house a long time ago. I feel that if you are a poor person living in this country, you will always be poor,” said Lubisi.
Provincial human settlements spokesman Freddy Ngobe encouraged Lubisi to go to his nearest municipal office to verify the details that he filled out on his application form.
“The system shows that his late father was a beneficiary. This may prevent him from getting his own RDP house. We want to encourage him to verify the information he filled out on his application form,” said Ngobe.
Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) is a South African socio-economic policy framework implemented by the “African National Congress” (ANC) government of “Nelson Mandela” in 1994 after months of discussions, consultations and negotiations between the ANC, its alliance partners – the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party, and “mass organisations in the wider civil society”.
Meanwhile, Soweto has run out of space for more RDP houses and the Department of Housing has started to build flats instead of houses with flats as promised on the periphery of the township, but some Phiri residents are refusing to relocate to these flats, insisting on ‘proper’ housing with yards instead.
One of the most important aims of the RDP is to meet the basic needs of our people ‘as soon as possible’. The government is doing this for the people knowing that almost half of our people do not have such basic things as jobs, houses and medical care. But the question is for how long is one supposed to wait for these houses? Some people have died while waiting for their RDP house that never came.