Eight-year law needs to go – Van Min­nen

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - MICHAEL MOR­RIS

BY LAW, any­one get­ting a state- sub­sidised RDP house may not sell it for eight years – but that’s dis­crim­i­na­tion, ac­cord­ing to may­oral com­mit­tee mem­ber for hu­man set­tle­ments Bene­dicta van Min­nen.

“I be­lieve the eight-year pro­hi­bi­tion on sales is un­con­sti­tu­tional, be­cause it means you are treat­ing peo­ple of dif­fer­ent in­come bands dif­fer­ently,” she said.

Van Min­nen knew the ob­jec­tive was to pro­tect re­cip­i­ents’ as­sets and en­sure they were not ex­ploited.

“But the re­al­ity is that we could find other meth­ods of pro­tect­ing peo­ple. What is hap­pen­ing at the mo­ment is that we are not al­low­ing peo­ple to lever­age their prop­erty – as any other prop­erty owner is free to do.

“Na­tion­ally, we claim the ob­jec­tive is to en­able peo­ple to lever­age eco­nomic suc­cess. And there is a mar­ket – we know there is – yet peo­ple are pre­vented from ac­cess­ing it.”

Van Min­nen said: “To me, it’s un­con­sti­tu­tional to treat peo­ple dif­fer­ently on the ba­sis of in­come and it is some­thing the city is tak­ing up with the na­tional gov­ern­ment, as it will re­quire an amend­ment to na­tional leg­is­la­tion.

“One of the key con­cerns is this: some­one gets an RDP house, but where can they go from there? There’s a huge gap in the mar­ket. At the same time, the rea­son why there is such a strong mar­ket for RDP houses is that peo­ple earn­ing more than the re­cip­i­ent thresh­old of R3 000 want to ac­cess for­mal hous­ing.”

These were all fac­tors in­form­ing the city’s think­ing about stim­u­lat­ing back­yarder com­mu­ni­ties and more ef­fec­tive in­ter­ven­tions in the hu­man set­tle­ments arena.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.