Housing: SIU is asked to probe shoddy jobs in R20 bln deals

2013-02-21 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The Human Settlements Department wants the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to probe contracts valued at R20  billion.

The contracts involve, among others, low-cost homes in which the workmanship and materials are of such a low standard that the homes start falling apart in a few months.

Corruption and fraud in the transfer of homes to indigent citizens are also to be investigated.

Thabane Zulu, director-general of the department, yesterday told the parliamentary committee for housing that investigations into 59 contracts with a combined value of R4 billion had been finalised. He said the investigations dealt with payments by the department to contractors who did not finish the work and delivered badly built homes.

Zulu said the SIU was busy with 13 criminal investigations into these issues.

The Public Protector, advocate Thuli Madonsela, and the Human Rights Commission also made submissions about housing to the committee yesterday.

Madonsela said her office was swamped with complaints about housing projects. Between July and September 2012, her office received 2 877 complaints, more than half coming from Gauteng. She said some of the complaints were from people who had been on waiting lists since 1996.

Zulu told the committee that the department had successfully prosecuted 1 002 municipal, provincial and national officials working for the department between 2010/11 and 2011/12.

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