Legal extortion of the poor

2015-08-12 06:00

READING articles on housing developments in Signal Hill and Westgate by the Msunduzi Housing Association worries every citizen.

The reality of the development is not what it seems to be - the poor are exploited and used at the hands of the housing association who then markets this and makes additional millions.

A case currently going on in the city is the Westgate Msunduzi Housing Association’s R300 million project.

The funds are given to the contractor, Steffanuti Stocks, who employs sub-contractors. Now these sub-contractors are so impressed by this huge company, but have no clue that they are going to pay a hefty price for this.

The main contractor paints a beautiful picture of how reputable and efficient they are - the sub-contractor’s breath is taken away and employs staff.

The work gets under way and at the end of the month it’s payment, but now the payment is so low that the sub-contractors have to use their own money to fund the staff as the rate is pathetic.

So we see that the Msunduzi Housing Association gets a building by paying people less and gaining profit.

It is citizens and emerging sub-contractors who in fact fund these as the main contractor should have asked for clarity as it is clear Steffanuti Stocks is not quite what it seems to be - a bunch of cheap skates in bed with the Msunduzi Housing Association.

They fail to realise they are ruining small businesses, abusing the poor by undertaking intense labour, making a profit out of them and not paying a proper construction fee for the work conducted. So how are the poor to survive if they have to fund and pay for this project to get done?

They have had two strikes to date, but turn a deaf ear. If we are the City of Choice as the mayor boasts, where is the growth? It is just legal extortion of the poor and profits for the wealthy. If this is a municipality that is ANC-run and this is how they treat the poor citizens, it is a disgrace or maybe they are saving funds to exploit the poor in order to build the president’s next palace.

Venolin Govender


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