No houses for residents relocated two years ago

2017-06-27 08:12
A handful of houses are near completion, but many are only at foundation level two years after people were relocated to make way for Mdantsane Cluster Two housing project. (Nombulelo Damna-Hendrik, GroundUp)

A handful of houses are near completion, but many are only at foundation level two years after people were relocated to make way for Mdantsane Cluster Two housing project. (Nombulelo Damna-Hendrik, GroundUp)

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East London - More than two years after 154 families were moved to an open space to make way for a housing project for them, about 30 houses have been built and these are not finished.

GroundUp reports that this is according to Ward 11 councillor Mashwabade Gcilishe.

In February 2015, people were moved from Walter Sisulu informal settlement in Mdantsane NU5 to make way for the Mdantsane Cluster Two housing project.

Walter Sisulu residents say the abandoned houses get used by criminals, while half a dozen housing beneficiaries fear their waiting houses will be vandalised.

A member of the community, who only wanted to be identified as Simphiwe, said, “Every night the nyaope boys [drug users] hide behind these houses and people are robbed.”

The R163.7 million tender to build 908 houses was awarded to Johannesburg-based company Siyavuna Trading.

154 houses were going to be built in Walter Sisulu, 34 in Francis Mel, 105 in Hani Park, 300 in Winnie Mandela, 91 in Mahlangu, 25 in Gwentshe, 75 in Mathemba Vuso and 88 in Daluxolo informal settlement.

Gcilishe said since August last year he has been trying to get answers about the housing project.

Walter Sisulu community leader Nosiviwe Booi said, “No one told us anything; the construction company just left with no explanation,” she said. “We are all in the dark.”

Most of the houses are still at foundation level, but about thirty houses already have windows and doors.

Booi said sometimes there is a security guard looking after the houses.

This is not the first time Walter Sisulu residents have complained about Siyavuna Trading.

In September 2015, residents protested about the quality of the materials used for the houses.

The protest was later joined by workers complaining about wages.

Gcilishe said he has written a number of letters to the municipal council, to Mayor Xola Pakati, and also to the responsible department, but he is still in the dark.

GroundUp contacted Siyavuna Trading and a receptionist said the company is not going to comment on the matter and then abruptly dropped the call.

Further calls from GroundUp were dropped.

GroundUp has tried since mid-last week to get comment from the municipality.

Read more on:    east london  |  housing

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