Purge The Housing System Of Bad Contractors

Andrew Louw, MPL

DA Northern Cape: Provincial Leader

The Democratic Alliance is of the firm view that contractors who build faulty houses must be named, shamed and blacklisted so that no more public money is wasted. This comes after revelations that the Northern Cape has R115 million worth of rectification to do as a result of inferior workmanship on RDP houses.

The matter was highlighted at a recent portfolio committee meeting at the legislature, during which the Department of Cooperative Government, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs presented its first quarterly report. The department mentioned the housing settlements in Mier and Breipaal in Douglas, as examples of where service providers didn’t do what they were paid to do.

The department must stop trying to shift the blame for crumbling RDP houses by saying that it is service providers and not the department that is responsible for RDP construction. In doing so, the department ignores the fact that service providers are contracted by the department and should be held accountable by the department.

As far as the DA is concerned, the vicious cycle of spending, shoddy workmanship and rectification must be broken once and for all by blacklisting, as well as naming and shaming bad contractors, and preventing them from future involvement in contracts for state-funded housing.

The DA has noted the department’s utterances that for the past six years, quality of construction of RDP houses in the Northern Cape has been good and that they are forcing all projects to be registered with the National Home Builder Registration Council (NHBRC). Only time, however, will tell if this is indeed so.

In the meantime, all steps must be taken to prove to citizens of the Northern Cape, who are living in appalling conditions in state-funded housing and the thousands still awaiting access to housing opportunities, that the government is serious about getting rid of service providers who squander state resources. The best way to do this is to purge the housing system of bad contractors and to prevent them from securing further contracts.

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