RDP houses: Imbali wants answers

2011-09-20 00:00

THE South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) and the community of Imbali unit 13 have demanded that Premier Zweli Mkhize remove Human Settlement MEC Maggie Govender for failing to provide houses in Imbali.

Wire-wall RDP houses were demolished in the area and they were supposed to be replaced with block-built houses. The housing project started in 2009.

Department spokesperson Sureshinee Govender said the project was initially undertaken by the now-disbanded special projects component of the department.

“All officials who previously dealt with this project have since left the employ of the department.

“The project ran out of funds as a result of having to fund higher specifications and has been delayed due to the budget being above the threshold that had been set.

“There is also the issue of the illegal occupation of some of the houses in this project …

At the beginning of the year the KZN Human Settlement department returned R200 million in housing grants to the national government because it was unable to spend the money.

Community member Busisiwe Mtolo, a mother of six, said the community was promised that the project would only take two months before they could return to their houses.

“When they demolished the houses we decided to build our shanty houses and some rented houses in a nearby township, but now life is difficult for all of us as its been years waiting with no one telling us what’s going on,” said Mtolo.

A group of protesters marched to the KZN Legislature on Friday demanding that the premier intervene.

They want the reasons for the project’s suspension to be clarified and to be told why they were not informed.

They also demanded proper transit camps — with clean water and electricity — for residents who are waiting for their houses to be built.

The Sanco organiser for the Moses Mabhida region, Musawenkosi Mchunu, said the “insensitive” Human Settlement MEC must be removed with immediate effect and that they want answers in seven days.

George Mari of the Democratic Alliance said his party will follow up on the results of the national and provincial departments of Human Settlements visit to the area.

He said the DA will also find out whether the team of the Special Investigating Unit, which the Human Settlements Minister has promised will investigate the project’s failure, had been appointed.

mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za.

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