'Many will remain in poor conditions in squatter camps'

Western Cape Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela says the province still has a housing backlog of 526,000 families.

FILE: Bonginkosi Madikizela. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela says due to limited resources, many people could never be plucked out of poor conditions in informal settlements.

Madikizela tabled his department's R2.2 billion budget at a sitting of the Western Cape Legislature earlier today.

He also questioned the sustainability of current government policy to provide free housing.

Madikizela says the department's budget aims to produce about 18,000 houses in the province this coming financial year.

He adds, however, the province still has a housing backlog of 526,000 families.

"And we can only assist between 18,000 and 20,000 families a year. We have R2.2 billion now, we need about R80 billion just to service the current backlog."

Madikizela says this means many poor families who live in informal settlements will remain there for a long time.

The department has also allocated funding for the installation of bulk infrastructure in informal settlements in Philippi and Gugulethu.

(Edited by Refilwe Thobega)