DA KZN:  Housing project still incomplete after 17 long years

Hlanganani Gumbi, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Human Settlements

The DA will request an urgent probe by the Public Protector after an oversight visit to a Mariannhill housing project this weekend revealed that it remains incomplete after 17 long years.

The Inkanyezi Housing project was first begun in 1997 yet houses remain unfinished – without roofs – while people are forced to live in tin shacks just metres down the road.

This project has to be the most visibly painful failure of housing service delivery this province has seen.

In 2011, the media blew the lid on the delays after the DA raised concerns during an eThekwini Council meeting.  At the time, building costs were estimated to be R30million.

As a DA eThekwini Councillor I had asked questions about the project of Human Settlements Chairperson Cllr Nigel Gumede.  His response was that the municipality purposefully didn’t put roofs on because they couldn’t track down the recipients and didn’t want the houses to be invaded.

He further indicated that the roofs would be built within 7months to a year.

As this weekend’s visit has shown, this is clearly not the case.

The DA will this week submit the following questions to KZN Human Settlement MEC, Ravi Pillay;

–              When will these houses be complete?

–              Who will occupy each house?

–              Who were the contractors who built the houses?

–              How much were they each paid and for what aspect of project?

–              Who is the contractor that will build the roofs? Is it a new contractor?

–              What steps will the MEC and his department take to hold eThekwini accountable for this failure in service delivery?

The DA expects MEC Pillay to answer the above questions within the two week time frame as stipulated by the Legislature.  The people of this community deserve to know why the system has failed them so catastrophically.