National 11.8.2016 04:44 pm

RDP ‘white elephants’ finally open to residents

PHOTO: Pretoria North Rekord.

PHOTO: Pretoria North Rekord.

The DA’s Solly Msimanga called for an investigation into who got the tender and how much they got paid for the botched project.

RDP houses that have been standing unoccupied in Winterveldt will soon be handed over to approved beneficiaries, Pretoria North Rekord reported.

In a statement this week, Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements Jacob Mamabolo said the vandalised low-cost houses were being repaired and would be given to the approved beneficiaries soon. The MEC said he had met with ward councillors in the area.

According to Mamabolo, the delay in the allocation of houses to owners was because there was no water supply to the area. He said a new line had since been built and bulk water had been restored, creating an opportunity to connect the water to the houses.

“While the department of human settlements and the Tshwane metro are accountable for these houses, it is still the responsibility of the local community, the beneficiaries of these communal assets, to protect them,” said Mamabolo.

He told departmental officials to speed up the repair work of the vandalised houses.

“If we don’t arrest this situation and change the way we do things, we leave ward councillors in a precarious and dangerous situation in which they take the blame for slow or nondelivery and end up being attacked. It is disappointing to hear that a councillor’s house was burnt and a number of councillors were assaulted by residents during a community meeting.”

More than 100 RDP houses have been standing unoccupied for two years while residents wait.

Recently, DA member Solly Msimanga lashed out at the department following his visit to the area, saying he failed to understand why the houses had remained uncompleted.

“What I discovered is there were hundreds of RDP houses that were built but left unfinished. After checking with the department, I was told as far as it was concerned, they were counted as completed and occupied,” said Msimanga.

He said an investigation should be conducted into who got the tender, how much they got paid, and why the project had not been completed three to four years down the line.

Msimanga said he was saddened that the houses were now being used for criminal activities.

“We were told by local residents that two women were recently raped at the site,” he said.

Msimanga said while residents were struggling, living in less suitable conditions, some tenderpreneur was laughing all the way to the bank.

“We will most likely be told that a new tender will be awarded to finish these houses, which means millions that should have been channelled towards building more houses will now be used to finish these that have already been paid for.”

He said Winterveldt residents deserved better.

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