State of houses shock

2015-05-27 06:00
STOMPI BALEKA, one of the beneficiaries of houses built in Thabong. 
Photos: Teboho Setena

STOMPI BALEKA, one of the beneficiaries of houses built in Thabong. Photos: Teboho Setena

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SCORES of beneficiaries of houses upgraded to four-rooms in Thabong, Welkom, lament bitterly because of the trail of shoddy workmanship construction companies are leaving behind.

The majority of beneficiaries were very happy at the start of the multimillion rand housing construction project in April 2014.

However, they are now unhappy with the quality of the houses.

They are having to contend with multiple challenges arising from shoddy workmanship.

Frustration ranges from fixing doors, windows, leaking roofs, faulty work on ceilings, water pipes in kitchens, bathrooms and toilets – even plastering.

While some are frustrated by dealing with shoddy workmanship, others are dismayed with the long wait for completion of their houses long after the project started last April.

The four-roomed houses, all 50 m² in size, with a combined toilet and bathroom, as well as PVC ceilings, have been constructed in accordance with specifications by the Free State Department of Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements.

More than ten of the beneficiaries who spoke to Express Goldfields andamp; NFS have expressed displeasure about poor workmanship by construction companies.

“It is not that we are unappreciative of what the government has done or is doing for us, it is the quality of the work by construction companies. I have just occupied the house, unware it has some defects. The work on plastering, plumbing and roofing is disappointing,” says Stompi Baleka, who has just occupied her house.

Baleka further insists on Government doing an inspection of all houses under construction and those completed to ensure they meet the standard and are of good quality.

“I’m frustrated in this house instead of being happy,” says Julia Tseki, another beneficiary.

“With the first rains this year, the front door would not open and with my first use of the bathroom water was running out.

“I’m surviving on a state grant and I don’t have money to hire someone to fix poor work done by contractors. The department responsible for the housing project must step in.”

“I resorted to exposing this to the media because I’m frustrated by the negative response of the contractor, who has never pitched up to even inspect the house after several reports,” Lucia Seeta says.

The companies appointed for the housing project include Omega Construction and Satena Building. Other houses were built by Civil and Etsho Project Management, a consulting engineering company.

Senne Bogatsu, spokesperson of the department, says the department and the consulting engineering company are now aware of the shoddy workmanship.

“The department is working hard to ensure that the quality of the houses is excellent.”

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