R58bn needed to fix badly built houses

2011-02-10 20:15
Cape Town - It will cost about R58bn for the human settlements department to fix poorly built houses, the Democratic Alliance revealed on Thursday.

This figure was revealed by human settlements director general Thabane Zulu during a human settlements portfolio committee on Wednesday, DA spokesperson Butch Steyn said in a statement.

"Of greater concern was the further admission that the department has not yet found a way to blacklist contractors who built these sub-standard houses, and that many of these unfit contractors may still have contracts with the national government to build more sub-standard housing," he said.

These contractors were sabotaging the lives and human dignity of millions of South Africans with utter disregard for the consequences.

"This is unacceptable. Not only is the state losing approximately R58bn, but the national government will continue to waste large sums of money on this for the foreseeable future," said Steyn.

‘Urgent action needed’

Furthermore, the people these houses were intended for might well find themselves living in houses that were not up to standard.

This could not be allowed to continue, Steyn said.

The DA wanted urgent action to be taken to implement an effective system of monitoring and oversight of building contractors.

This would ensure that contractors who delivered sub-standard housing were not only held accountable for their poor service delivery, but also banned from engaging in future contracts.

It was Housing Minister Tokyo Sexwale's responsibility to outline such a plan to ensure that housing delivery for poor South Africans was not compromised any further.

Sexwale should appear urgently before the committee to explain why this situation had remained unaddressed for so long and outline a plan for effective monitoring and oversight to deal with this issue.

"What makes the R58bn revelation even more astonishing is that only six weeks ago, Minister Sexwale announced that he had set aside R1.3bn to fix sub-standard housing this year," Steyn said.

40 years to fix poorly built houses

Accepting this figure, it would take the national government 40 years just to fix badly built houses.

The annual budget for the department was only R16.3bn a year so if the department did nothing but fix sub-standard housing, it would still take three and a half years, with no other service delivery taking place.

In the meantime, poor quality houses continued to be built, which meant there was no foreseeable end to this expense.

Parliament was still waiting for the full report and result of the audit which would provide details of the rectification programme and explain how the figure of R58bn was reached.

Zulu did acknowledge in the portfolio committee meeting that this was a major problem and a way had to be found to blacklist contractors.

"It seems a little late to point this out after a R58bn bill has been presented to the public. There is no time to waste on empty promises and endless discussions," Steyn said.

Read more on:    da  |  tokyo sexwale  |  housing

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy

Miley's new dog is too adorable.



13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher
The unusual pets of Instagram
Bertie sets a new world record!

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The Leo moon adds an element of drama and entertainment. A significant person that you may consult or confide in may play an...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.