R120 mln to repair RDP homes

2011-01-29 00:00

THE Human Settlement Ministry will give KwaZulu-Natal R120 million this financial year to repair or rebuild RDP houses that were dilapidated due to shoddy workmanship before the recent floods.

This amount is part of the R200 million withdrawn from the provincial budget because it had been spent on building new houses.

Human Settlement Minister Tokyo Sexwale told residents of Thembalihle in Steadville during his visit on Thursday that the money will go towards repairing shoddy RDP houses in the province.

Thembalihle is one of the areas that was hardest hit by the recent floods.

Last week the government announced that KZN and Free State had under-spent their human settlement budget by R200 million and R263 million respectively.

Sexwale said the money will be allocated as part of the national rectification programme and will ensure that many of the badly built RDP houses are repaired or rebuilt.

“We wish to clarify that KZN has under-performed due to lack of bulk services such as the unavailability of land, water and electricity. Today we are pleased to be able to allocate some of the money back to the province,” said Sexwale.

He said all the contractors who were involved in building shoddy houses are not off the hook as investigations are continuing.

“Attorneys involved in this have been charged while syndicates have been fingered. Some of the contractors have been instructed to pay back what they had taken from government, so this goes to show that we are not just spending more money to repair shoddy workmanship, but we are also in the process of recovering the money taken by unscrupulous contractors.

“We’ve taken out our horns against these rogue elements, and some of the lawyers fingered have been struck off the roll,” said Sexwale.

Mnikelo Ndabankulu, a spokesperson for Abahlali BaseMjondolo, an organisation that fights for the rights of the homeless, said the contractors who built the shoddy houses should repair them for free.

“The money spent on repairs was meant to build houses for those on the waiting lists and it will create conflict to spend more money on people who were already given houses.”

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