PP condemns broken promises

2012-10-05 00:00

PUBLIC Protector Thuli Madonsela did not mince her words when she told KZN Human Settlements MEC Ravi Pillay she was not happy about failed promises regarding the Imbali wire-wall housing project.

Madonsela said residents of the incomplete houses, after waiting for more than two years, were told by Human Settlements officials that they would be in their houses by Christmas.

“Then they were told they would be in the homes by the beginning of this year. It is now October and they are still not in their houses,” she said.

Madonsela said that the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), which referred the matter to her office, were holding her hostage over the situation.

Pillay responded that the hold-up related to technical issues.

“You will jump down our throats if we disregard these,” he said.

“I’m not going to make you promises that the residents will be in by December, and I have also been engaging with Sanco on this matter,” said Pillay.

Madonsela responded that she was not told about impediments to the project, she was given promises.

“The only impediment I was given was that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) was investigating the project.”

She added that the national Human Settlements Department had said the project should be completed regardless of the investigation and that the money must be found from elsewhere to fix the problem. It was never a pre-condition that the money would be recouped first before the houses were built, she said.

The wire-wall RDP houses were demolished and residents were promised block houses, which were never built. They were asked to move out of the wire-wall houses into temporary corrugated iron accommodation while construction was to take place.

Two years on, they are still waiting for their block houses to be built. In the meanwhile, they have been living without water and electricity. Their corrugated iron accommodation has sprung leaks and is beginning to fall apart. The affected residents are mostly senior citizens in the community.

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