Dep. Human Settlements Mpumalanga
Department of Human Settlements Mpumalanga
Introduction In 1998, the Auditor General’s Report was big and thick. Now it is thin. We are responding to the issues and making a difference. In asset management there was not one problem identified in the last AG report. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa provides that ‘everyone has the right to have access to adequate housing’. Since 1994, Government has committed itself to housing access and provision and has engaged in policy and implementation processes directed at enhancing access to affordable housing. Government inherited a backlog of 1.3 million housing units1 as a result of past inequity in the provision of housing and spatial development patterns that contributed to the lack of affordable housing in areas of economic opportunity. For many of South Africa’s poor, access to housing, or the lack thereof, is seen as an indicator of Government’s commitment to the Constitution and the poor. The responsibility for policies, programmes and projects for housing access and delivery resides in a range of Government Departments in Provinces and at national Government. The effective functioning of these Departments, including the Department of Human Settlements in Mpumalanga, is central to the wider developmental agenda of Government. Given the scale of budgetary resources allocated for housing delivery and access, the ability of Departments to procure relevant good and services (specifically housing and building material) is important. Within this context, supply chain management (SCM) systems and processes have to be effectively managed and responsive to local realities to ensure transparent and accountable use of budgetary resources. The Mpumalanga Department responsible for meeting the housing needs in the Province was the Department Local Government and Housing, until the restructuring of Portfolios that followed the 2009 elections. 2 As a consequence of the national process, the Mpumalanga Department was split and a new provincial Department of Human Settlements was established. In this process, a priority concern, based on past experience, was ensuring that the administration functioned and, given the scale of resources used for housing delivery that its supply and procurement practices function in an optimal manner3 . This case tells the story of establishing an efficient and effective supply chain management process in the provincial department so as to ensure access to housing in the province4 .