Mpumalanga RDP housing – we need quantity and quality

James Masango MPL

Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition

As the Mpumalanga government struggles more and more to meet its RDP housing delivery targets, it also continues to provide poor quality housing to the few beneficiaries who have been fortunate enough to receive a unit.

During a visit to Jeppe’s Reef in Nkomazi the DA was shocked with the quality of new RDP houses in the area. On closer inspection these houses are nothing but glorified substandard single bungalows, made up of prefabricated walling and corrugated iron roofs.

The quality of the construction of these units is absolutely appalling, with massive cracks and holes visible on the walls. In fact, the construction defects of these houses are so severe that those already living in some of the units have had to cover gaps in the walls with plastic bags in order to block out the wind.

Furthermore, the size of the units is also distressing. Although these houses are expected to accommodate normal sized families, they are so tiny that it is preposterous to expect more than 2 people to live in them.

During his budget and policy speech earlier this year, human settlements MEC Andries Gamede admitted that the appointment of incompetent contractors has led to the delivery of poor quality, sub-standard houses. Although he promised to address the matter, it is clear that the problem still persists given that many of the units the DA saw were still being built.

In view of this the DA will write to MEC Gamede asking for an explanation. We want to know who built these houses, what the cost of the project was and who inspected and approved them. We also want clarity on what quality regulations and specifications policy is currently in place to ensure the delivery of quality houses in Mpumalanga, and the person or persons responsible for ensuring compliance?

Giving our people such dismal housing is disrespectful and unacceptable. Everyone has the right to adequate, quality housing, and the people of Mpumalanga certainly deserve better.