Bicks Ndoni slams RDP housing contractors

2015-06-24 06:00
One of the building contractors, Cedric Human, during the workshop.

One of the building contractors, Cedric Human, during the workshop. (DEON FERREIRA)

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DEPUTY mayor Bicks Ndoni condemned shoddy workmanship by RDP housing contractors saying this created unaffordable liabilities for the city that undermine financial sustainability.

Ndoni was speaking at the two-day workshop for contractors of the Municipality where the minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu was set to address SMME’s yesterday.

Addressing the 400 SMME’s in attendance, Ndoni said it was a well-known fact that in the city you get an RDP house by paying a bribe.

“I am not too sure what the going rate for an RDP house is but it is simply scandalous that we subject our people who have trusted us to this behaviour.”

Ndoni said shoddy workmanship by contractors meant that a rectification of built houses is required almost as a matter of cost. “I cannot understand why government has to pay twice to get one house built. Housing officials are indifferent and unresponsive to the community’s complaints and issues. We have a challenge of having to go back to some houses and repair; we must agree with contractors that we cannot do that again.

“The person that needs to be prioritized needs to be the beneficiary. We must ensure we avoid making our people angry; let’s not subject our people to the humiliation of paying bribes to get anything done,” said Ndoni.

Ndoni said contractors and the Housing Development Agency (HDA) should cooperate with forensic investigators to report and expose corrupt elements within human settlements’ value chain.

He said government should also put in place programmes to improve the state of black contractors.

“They cannot remain small and emerging for the rest of their lives; at some point you must emerge.”

During her visit Sisulu also signed a service level agreement with the MEC for Human Settlements Helen Sauls-August and Mayor Danny Jordaan in a bid to fast-track housing delivery in the region.

Municipal Human Settlements boss, Lindile Petuna, said key problems in his directorate’s roster system are contractors being allocated work but do not start building houses due to lack of funds.

“It is important to note that there have been complaints in relation to that, especially allocation of work.

“Once we allocate work, we note some contractors are unable to start work because they are unable to raise funds.

“Communities are asking ‘when are you going to start?’ But contractors are unable to start; this affects service delivery.”

Petuna said the metro’s housing revolving fund is way above what the limit should be. “The limit currently should be R100 million but we are approaching R200 million and this means we depend on province to provide funding.”

Petuna however said flexibility is an advantage within their roster system as contractors are able to allocate work regularly and more women were also becoming contractors.

“There is a lot of work that needs to be done in terms of our backlog of our sector plan. We estimate that by 2030 we need to have constructed 140 000 units with the metro.

“Whether that is possible or not is something that we need to debate further,” said Ndoni.

Nicholas Tsewu from HDA said land, together with bulk infrastructure and beneficiary management, was amongst their challenges

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