Rogue contractor preys on pensioner

2009-12-16 00:00

CONCERNS have been raised about crooked building contractors “out to make a quick buck” by exploiting the Inkwezela and Bulwer community, after a pensioner was conned out of her November pension money by a rogue contractor.

The Bulwer and Inkwezela areas were recently devastated by a tornado which left one person dead, several others injured, and numerous houses flattened. An estimated 2 000 people were left homeless.

The Social Development Minister Meshack Radebe visited the area then and committed R20 million to rebuild the homes and, apparently, the construction is under way, with every family that lost a house getting a new house built.

The warning about the possible crooked practices in the area was raised by Christopher Luyt of the Hlanganani Ngothando Organisation, the NGO assisting the people in the area in rebuilding their lives.

He said one victim, a pensioner, Theleziya Hadebe, did not qualify for a government house because her house was not completely destroyed, so she contrac­ted a builder to repair the damaged rooms. He then absconded with her money.

Luyt said the contractor was not part of the official contractors working in the area, but a local builder with whom Hadebe had made an arrangement.

“Hadebe handed her whole November pension over to a builder to rebuild her house. Three rooms out of four were destroyed. He ran off with her money. In desperation, she arranged for some local men to begin the rebuilding now in December.”

Luyt said they had been able to secure a sponsor to rebuild Hadebe’s house.

“The total bill for Hadebe’s house will come to R650 at the reduced price. The builder will be spending the next two weeks … rebuilding this house for a meagre R400.”

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