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RDC catch-up

rhondathompson, [email protected]

RDC catch-up

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The Rural Development Commission (RDC) is spending about four times its monthly budget.
Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, Urban and Rural Development Christopher Sinckler told the DAILY NATION on Tuesday that level of spending was the result of a large backlog of cases at the RDC.
The minister said that under its housing project the commission had built 37 more houses than the number “allowed” and they still needed some assistance.
“For RDC, we have literally spent the entire budget. [The budget] requires that we spend about $200 000 a month and we were actually spending about $800 000. In fact, in the last nine months we built 35 houses,” he added. “The project for RDC really only allows us to build 15, and we built 52 houses.
“So we are trying to inveigle our way into the heart of the Minister of Finance to get a supplementary . . . because you know it is fairly tight in the economy, but we have some urgent requests that we will require [assistance with].”
Turning his attention to the Urban Development Commission, the minister expressed satisfaction about its growth.
He said the ongoing recession had not significantly affected the agency’s ability to help the poor. What it had done, he said, was to “teach us discipline with public resources”.
“The budget [for the UDC] is going very well. We normally get about $12 or $13 million per year, of which about $10 million goes towards its programme. The rest is for administrative expenses. So far, for the financial year we would have spent about $4 million . . . We have actually spent more than that because we have spent some money that we had in savings . . .
“The agency is now really working at the level at which we want it to work. Of course, nothing is perfect. There are still one or two kinks that we have to get out of the system . . . I think we have between 35 and 40 projects currently under construction, and there are perhaps another 13 or 14 that we can release shortly that will go to the various committees of the board for release,” Sinckler said.
“The fact that the agency was mired in confusion, suggestions of corruption and maladministration; it was not a pretty sight to see and hear what was going on with the UDC in the past.
Sinckler said they had been able to reconstruct the agency, bring in talent at all levels, flatten its leadership structure and have more people taking responsibility for the various areas of operation. (MM)