‘Corruption’ allegations arise

2015-10-06 06:00

The current state of the Kewtown housing project, run by MHI, where local resident Weldon Bloys has been working.

The current state of the Kewtown housing project, run by MHI, where local resident Weldon Bloys has been working.

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Allegations of corruption have surfaced regarding the Kewtown housing project, run by Mellon Housing Initiatives (MHI), thrusting the community project under a cloud of doubt.

MHI, which has also been awarded the tender to build houses in Hazendal and Heide­veld, has already built half of the top structures for 58 houses at the site which runs parallel to Jan Smuts Drive.

One of its employees has voiced allegations of malpractice after accusing the company of not paying him for the last month, despite having a contract until December.

Weldon Bloys (59) has been a construction worker for more than 15 years and was employed to work on the Kewtown site.

He says he was contracted through the City of Cape Town’s expanded works database and started working on the construction site in July.

Not all equalHe says problems started to emerge once he found out that other workers who have been contracted did not obtain their jobs through the same process he had followed.

“For the first two weeks I had to work in my normal clothes and that is how the problems started. They found out that I am one of the only people who came via the database to start working there and to them I was a thorn in their eyes,” says Bloys.

Bloys says some of the workers on the Kewtown site are not from the area, alleging that one contractor is from Hout Bay and another from Strand.

“The contractors don’t get the contract the way I got a contract, because they did not go through the database. They get paid by MHI, but they don’t get the rate that they are supposed to get. They could not argue my rate as I got my rate from the City. Up until today, they still take people on by the gate.”

Bloys says he was chased off the site and told a to come back a few days later to sign disciplinary documents.

“They wouldn’t let me in for a week and a half. So what happened is that they paid me for [August], but when they found out that I went to the labour department [they didn’t pay me].”

Bloys has approached the office of his ward councillor, Suzette Little, to investigate the matter.According to MHI all media enquiries should be dealt with by the City.

Little’s office confirms that the project will not be halted while the investigation is taking place, and says that Bloys is yet to submit a sworn statement in order for them to proceed with the matter in earnest. Bloys laments that the police would not allow him to complete the affidavit as it was not a criminal matter.

“To date we have not received any affidavit from him, but what we have received is a hand-written note from Bloys giving us detail of what actually took place,” states Little’s office.

Little has since made contact with the subcouncil and has called for a meeting with the relevant officials, including the project manager and contractor and will not comment further until this meeting takes place.

“We believe in transparency. We believe in openness and fairness and this is the policy that we need to uphold. Once we get feedback on who has done what and what has taken place. Because at the moment, everything is an allegation. Without speaking to the relevant parties, we cannot actually make any decision,” states Little’s office.

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