DA calls for inquiry into Duduza housing

2011-10-04 10:57

An inquiry was needed to determine if the companies who built houses that collapsed during a tornado in Duduza on Joburg’s East Rand had to compensate affected residents, the DA said today.

An eight-year-old boy died, 166 people were injured and 2 790 people left homeless after the tornado descended on the township near Nigel on Sunday night. More than 550 homes were destroyed.

“I saw for myself how badly built the houses were in Duduza when I visited there yesterday. There was hardly any cement between the bricks, and this must have contributed to the houses crumbling when the tornado hit,” Democratic Alliance MP Jack Bloom said.

The Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) houses were handed to residents in 1999.

Construction company Group 5 and M5 Developments were paid R40.7 million for the project.

“Monetary compensation will not bring eight-year-old Xolani Mkhatshwa back to life, but it will help residents to rebuild their shattered lives.

“Unlike the story of the three pigs, these brick houses could not withstand the wind, even though some shacks in the area remain standing,” he said.

Ekurhuleni mayoral spokesperson Prince Hamnca said: “This phenomena is a tornado, it causes damage like this. All I know is that Jack Bloom isn’t a structural engineer, and he should focus on what he knows.

“People have lost things, and lost their homes. There are more important things in the time of a disaster than buildings. Look at [the town of] Nigel. Some of the houses there were also damaged.”

Gauteng housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi intended visiting the township later today.

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