TURFPAN – Democratic Alliance (DA) Limpopo said it had filed a complaint with the office of the Public Protector (PP) to investigate an abandoned RDP housing project in Turfpan village outside Lebowakgomo after a contractor vanished and left the houses at foundation level in 2006.
According to the party many of the foundations are built along with toilets which are also left incomplete. The DA said the discovery of the foundations was made during an oversight inspection and door to door campaign in the area on Tuesday.
It further said according to the list of the beneficiaries, each house was estimated to cost R32 000 in 2005. The building materials were delivered in the village but were later stolen by the residents after noticing that the project had been abandoned.
The local municipality, Lepelle Nkumbi has, according to the party’s press release, paid R8 100 to the contactor for each foundation. The opposition added it could confirm that the municipality had allocated 400 houses in this 2018 / 2019 financial year but only five were allocated to the village and there were no plans to rectify or finish the abandoned project.
“The cost to build one RDP house is estimated to cost over R80 000, therefore, it is clear that the municipality will have to spend more money to build or rectify these houses instead of building new ones,” read the statement.
The DA informed that according to a written reply to the party, the Department Co-operative Governance, Human Settlement and Traditional Affairs (CoGHSTA ) would spend over R68 million rectifying over 869 poorly-built and abandoned houses in the province in this financial year.
“The DA has noted that there are similar projects that were abandoned across the province but the department has failed to take steps against these contractors by blacklisting them or to hold them accountable for the mess,” further read the statement.
According to the DA failure to complete houses for the needy is in contravention of Section 26 of the Constitution which guarantees the right of all South Africans to adequate housing.
“The DA has already referred the department to the human settlement ombudsman to probe the department for wasting the tax payer’s money on hiring incompetent contractors and hopes to get a positive response soon,” said the party.
The party said it urged the Public Protector to investigate the matter and ensure that the houses were completed and allocated to the rightful beneficiaries with immediate effect.