By James Masango MPL, DA Spokesperson on Human Settlements:
The appointment of two new contractors to repair incomplete RDP houses in Nkomazi, Mpumalanga is unjustifiable. The department of Human Settlement must compel the previous contractors to repair work done on the houses for which they have already been paid and long run off with their profits.
It is unacceptable that the taxpayer has to pay more money for poor workmanship because of the department’s inability to appoint credible contractors to build RDP houses. The previous contractors should be the one’s held responsible for the financial burden of the repairs, not the taxpayers.
While doing oversite visits during ‘taking legislature to the people’ in Nkomazi last week, the department discovered 163 incomplete houses that were abandoned by contractors in various parts of Nkomazi.
This week, department MEC, Violet Siwela, announced that she appointed two new contractors to complete the 163 units as part of the department’s plan to deal with the housing backlog in the province. She has failed to demand action from the contractors who caused the problem in the first place.
These housing projects began years ago yet houses remain unfinished, without roofs and windows while people are forced to live in shacks near-by. During a March oversite visit to the area the DA discovered that houses built as recently as 2014 were already showing signs of poor workmanship and dilapidation.
We cannot afford to waste huge amounts of money on repairs when the province’s housing backlog remains at a crisis level. The Department must ensure that they appoint accredited contractors that will deliver on their mandate and it is their duty to oversee and monitor these projects.
The DA would like MEC Siwela to indicate when these houses will be completed, so that residents have a timeframe to keep government accountable. The previous contractors given the responsibility to build the houses must also be exposed and blacklisted from any further government business.
The MEC must also indicate how much will be spent to finish the 163 incomplete houses, and how much was the previous contractor paid.