News24

Cosatu backs housing call

2009-11-04 17:16

Johannesburg - Cosatu in the Northern Cape said on Wednesday it supported the demolition of poorly built low-cost government houses as suggested by Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale,

"It is indeed a shame and an insult to our people to allow them to stay in brick shacks under the guise of service delivery," the Congress of SA Trade Unions said in a statement.

"However we want to take the call further and call for a forensic investigation of all the shoddy projects in the province so that the culprits, both in construction and in government, are brought to book."

It said that for "every corrupt government official there is a corrupt businessman and vice versa" so both must be harshly dealt with.

People did not just want shelter, they wanted decent houses and badly built houses should be removed from the statistics of service delivery as they did not belong there.

Cope defectors

"In fact we need to have statistics of the low quality houses that they built for our people before they ran away to form [the Congress of the People]," it said, referring to an ANC breakaway group.

It said contractors should not be paid in full until projects were completed and thoroughly inspected.

Cosatu said it was during the term of former housing MEC Pakes Dikgetsi that the houses were built with below-standard bricks.

"When we made noise and raised concerns about the poor workmanship at that point, he was the one who jumped to the defence of those projects," Cosatu said of Dikgetsi who joined Cope in January.

Sexwale said on Tuesday that in the Northern and Eastern Cape alone 3 000 houses would have to be destroyed as a result of "shoddy" and corrupt workmanship.

Dikgetsi told OFM radio that this was due to poor monitoring.