KZN’s 40 000 defective houses

2010-04-21 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Human Settlement, Maggie Govender, has disclosed that her department has so far incurred costs of over R400 million for fixing more than 40 000 defective houses in the province.

Govender was speaking while delivering her department’s budget in the KZN Legislature in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

The R401 million rectification bill includes construction and indirect costs such as the provision of temporary accommodation, services and management fees incurred in putting right the defective houses.

Govender told the legislature: “The department, through local authorities, has identified about 49 housing projects of roughly 40 374 housing units in the province that have been categorised as structurally defective.”

By March 31 this year, only 2 158 houses had been reported rectified and 3 490 houses rebuilt. A further 31 193 houses are under forensic engineering investigation, she added.

However, Govender said, the stumbling block in the retification process is the fact that budget estimates for 2010/11 make provision for only R74 million for the housing rectification programme.

Govender likened the delivery of houses in the province to “carrying water in a leaking bucket — there is such wastage”.

“Government has not been getting value for the money that has been spent. It is the end-user who is short-changed …

“Enough is enough! This must change. Government will pay when the right thing is done right the first time.

“Fixing costs must be borne by the mistake makers and those who choose shortcuts.”

Govender announced that she has signed a memorandum of ­understanding and service-level agreement with the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC), a council for housing construction companies, to ensure that such mistakes do not occur again.

The aim of the agreement is to ensure that houses of good quality that conform to required building standards and that are NHBRC enrolled are built  by companies that are registered with the NHBRC.

The NHBRC plans to undertake a detailed forensic engineering investigation on all 49 housing projects identified by the local authorities.

Theanalysis will outline the extent of rectification required and apportion claims accordingly to respective service providers.


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