Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s department is struggling to clear a title deeds backlog, an issue raised by auditor-general Kimi Makwetu in his 2016-17 annual report. The department’s annual performance target had factored in eradicating the backlog, but had experienced challenges in expediting the administrative process and had struggled to locate people who had to receive deeds, director-general Mbulelo Tshangana said. "Delays in issuing title deeds are as a result of the complexity of the process, including retrofitting of town planning processes and difficulty in locating the title deed beneficiaries," said Tshangana. However, he expressed his optimism for the future, pointing out that the department had provided 148,000 "housing opportunities" through its R30bn budget allocation in 2016-17. Four significant programmes of the department had each underspent their budgets by millions. Tshangana blamed this on unforeseen changes and delays in the medium-term expenditure...

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