KZN blitz on shoddy housing under way

2010-10-06 00:00

THE National Home Builders’ Registration Council (NHBRC) has, over the past few months, inspec­ted about 16 400 housing units rolled out by the government in KZN in an effort to identify and rectify shoddy workmanship by building contractors.

Human Settlements MEC Maggie Govender announced this at the launch of the NHBRC’s customer centricity strategy in Durban yesterday.

Govender said her department has identified 49 housing projects comprising 40 374 units in KZN for inspection, and it aims to complete the inspection process by the end of the financial year.

“It’s a mammoth task. It’s a big province with many projects.”

She conceded that many houses in KZN are of abysmal quality due to poor workmanship, inadequate supervision of construction and the use of sub-standard materials.

“Shortly after taking office, I saw the problems. They hit me in the face. The poor workmanship was as a result of building contractors not doing the work they should do. Many of these companies have since closed down. I have posed the question to contractors: would you live in a house you have built?”

The inspections have come about as a result of a memorandum of understanding and ser­vice-level agreement signed between the NHBRC and the Human Settlements Department.

“The department has engaged the NHBRC to undertake a detailed forensic investigation on all 49 projects identified by the local authorities, where the outcome of the analysis will outline the extent of rectification required and portion claims accordingly to respective service providers in terms of design and construction deficiencies.

“As far as possible, attempts will be made to recoup costs incurred from the service providers responsible. Several such cases have been referred to the State Attorney’s office,” Govender said.

She stressed that contractors must be registered with the NHBRC, adding that more than 1 200 contractors have done so.

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