Madonsela: RDP houses need urgent attention

2012-08-03 07:39

Klerksdorp - The dire state of RDP houses in the North West needs urgent attention, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Thursday.

"We have to remedy this situation as soon as possible together with the human settlements department and the municipalities," she said at a meeting with Klerksdorp residents.

People complained about the poor standard of construction and how they were told their houses were completed, only to find they had been given to other people.

Others alleged that their houses were sold to other people without their knowledge.

Foundations were built and then abandoned three years ago in Joubertina township, resident Buti Tshabalala told Madonsela.

Councillors’ roles ‘must be defined’

Tshabalala said his local councillor had told him the government was "meeting people halfway", and that he should complete building his house himself.

Madonsela said the role of local councillors in the procurement and provision of houses should be clearly defined.

"It seems some of the houses that were supposed to have been completed and signed off did not even exist," she said.

Madonsela and her deputy Mamiki Shai were in the North West as part of a countrywide investigation into complaints about RDP houses and minibus taxis.

The allegations of fraud and corruption against officials were overwhelming, she said.

"We have to not only look at what went wrong in the procurement and provision of houses, but find a way forward to prevent this from happening again."

Her office received 2 305 complaints regarding RDP houses from residents in the North West, she said.

Whistleblower booted out

One case she was investigating involved a Klerksdorp municipal employee who lost his job after raising the alarm about poorly-constructed RDP houses.

"This is one of the cases we are investigating in this province. [Klerksdorp] Mayor Michael Khauoe tells me the municipality has its [own] side of the story."

Her visit to one site revealed structural damage and poor workmanship.

"More money was spent on trying to fix the faulty houses instead of destroying them and building them again. Patching up the cracks did not help at all," Madonsela said.

She would meet residents of Mahikeng on Friday. Madonsela had already been to KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and the Free State. She would visit Limpopo next week.

  • bob.small.7547 - 2012-08-03 07:51

    Great! Build them using inexperienced unqualified tender buddies, then drum up a second round of tenders to fix the first one's mess up! Double the price for half the value! P a t h e t i c ...!

      derick.coetzee.56 - 2012-08-03 10:57

      The markets are looking good, our boytjies are talking gold, and its friday...kom ons duik!!!

      kala.bafazi - 2012-08-03 11:42

      Don't pay the builders until the job is finished and up to standard. All that's happening is the money is getting dished out by government and the builders are buying fancy cars and the pleading poverty and liquidation.

  • carole.small.96 - 2012-08-03 08:00

    So glad that you are looking into this Thuli Madonsela. The one person we can trust to root out the thieves. Enough of our money has been wasted. Twice the amount of our people could have had houses but for all this corruption. Stop this now!!!

  • nicolas.gombert.16 - 2012-08-03 08:21

    Most of these contractors fall in the "hit-and-run" category, they register a company (or take a shelf company), get a big, fat contract, claim huge amounts of VAT from SARS, deliver a "shoddy" product and before you know, they liquidate themselves and disappear without paying a single cent of tax. These crooks then reappear under a different company name to land the next lucrative contract. Just pay a visit to the DTI in Meintjies Street and see for yourself that registering new companies is the national sport of SA. I just find it extremely ironic that the matchbox houses built 50 years ago are still standing while the new houses built by the ANC are crumbling.

  • steve.ritchie.739 - 2012-08-03 08:23

    Amazing. The only employee prepared to make a stand gets fired. The cANCer jog-insurance at it's best.

      steve.ritchie.739 - 2012-08-03 08:23

      Oops. Should read job-insurance.

  • Harold Chisimba - 2012-08-03 08:27

    OO YES! Otherwise people wil have sex openly.

  • hsteyn100 - 2012-08-03 08:28

    I agree, something must be done. We used to supply building material to the contractors who build the RDP houses. It is amazing to see to whom these building contracts are awarded. Most of the contractors don't have a clue what a brick looks like and some of them don't even have vehicles. How can a building contract, worth millions, be awarded to a company who can't even afford to pay for 10 bags of cement? But, if you have friends and family within Local Government, you can get a contract even if you don't know the difference between a brick and a clown. These contractors just build the foundations, get payment for the foundations, and then dissapear without paying the sub-contractors and suppliers. It is time that government appoint an independant body to approve the contractors. They must also stop the practise of "swartsak", where everybody involved must pay bribes in order to get contracts and payment.

  • roy.taylor.3388 - 2012-08-03 08:37

    If you give out tenders to dodgy companies then you end up with this. So instead of starting a government construction company just hand the the tenders to qualified companies government is a rod for its own back in fact the are STUPID

  • roodbol - 2012-08-03 08:39

    My dear, we all know the money is used to change street names, costing billions. This 'improves' politican correctness, you know? And the huge salaries and bonusses to our officials - who cares about the poor with no housing if you can spend money on other 'necessities' [I mean, even Charles Street in Pretoria had to make way for yet another name... what horrible apartheid sin had Charles committed? As long as our majority votes for the ANC they will be poor and without any means to survive with dignity.

  • - 2012-08-03 08:39

    It would be more practical to demolish the RDP house completely then rebuild it from scratch. The foundations of some of these houses are only a thin slab of concrete with none or very little reinforcement steel.

  • vmeiring1 - 2012-08-03 09:03

    Well, excuse me. Isn't these contracts awarded via the ANC's processes???? Yes, to the so-called upcoming contractors. And the highly educated and scilled guys are sidelined, as these contractors, like the ANC, does not like to be shown the right way. It's been going on since 94, costing the tax payer billions and created instant millioneres. It's the ANC to be blamed, no one else... And worst of all, they call it houses.

  • wendy.craig.9655 - 2012-08-03 09:11

    And I'll bet all the builders had NHBRC status - this is another whole can of worms that needs to be opened!

  • fezeka.yantolo - 2012-08-03 09:23

    When Thuli Madonsela finished @klerksdorp she must come to Cape Town N2 gateway joeslovo please

  • tdshezi - 2012-08-03 09:33

    It is an embarrassment to the Housing Department (or Human Settlements, as they now call themselves) and the Housing Divisions of municipalities that the Public Protector has to be involved in something they knew about all along! Shame on you, for playing with the poor!

  • danie.smit.587 - 2012-08-03 10:46

    Wrong again , rather build them right the first time , and then more houses with money the ANC now use to fix houses

  • freddie.jones.58367 - 2012-08-03 14:00

    The allegations of fraud and corruption against officials were overwhelming, she said. "We have to not only look at what went wrong in the procurement and provision of houses, but find a way forward to prevent this from happening again." It is dead easy, all that needs to be done is fire the incompetent, dishonest ANC cadre's and hire competent and honest people to do the job. Oh! And while you are at it, bring criminal charges against the fraudsters and corrupt.

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