Government Fails to Check Quality of RDP Housing

James Masango MPL

Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition.

Yesterday the DA, as part of its Blue Wave community outreach programme, visited residents of the RDP housing in Leslie, and found evidence of appalling workmanship and finishing in almost every house we entered.

Walls of houses that were hardly two years old were cracked and warped to such an extent that windows would not close, and residents having to use wire and rope to keep out the elements. We found homes with toilets that were not connected to the sewerage system, with one homeowner promised more than two years ago that her toilet would soon be connected. The final straw was when we came across a few homes whose window panes were the wrong way round, with windows opening inward.

Photos are available on request.

After seeing this shoddy workmanship, I engaged with the municipality to find out who was responsible for building these homes, only to be told that the municipality had no idea of who is responsible, as “there were too many contractors” and that “they were all appointed by the Department of Human Settlements”.

The Department of Human Settlements is responsible for the delivery of quality housing to those who deserve it, but does not check on the quality of the units once completed. Because of this lack of control, the department ends up having to engage other contractors to fix the initial mistakes, wasting precious resources and severely slowing down delivery.

In the interests of quality control, the DA will submit formal written questions to the MEC for human settlements, Mr Siphosizwe Masango, and ask him to provide us with a list of contractors appointed to build these houses, as well as to furnish us with their NHBRC registration numbers. We will also ask that in the event that sub-contractors were engaged, to be provided with their industry-regulated registration and accreditation numbers.

Hopelessly too much government resources go to waste due to unscrupulous contractors in the housing industry, and the time has come for them to be held accountable.

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