The Herald Online **News**

The Herald Online **News**

THOUSANDS of defective government-built houses in the Eastern Cape are to be fixed.
The National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) is calling for expressions of interest from suitably qualified companies to rectify all houses in the Eastern Cape with structural defects and not suitable for human habitation.
A total of 11 531 houses have been identified throughout the province for rectification. Municipalities where these houses have been identified are Nelson Mandela Bay, Ukhahlamba, Chris Hani, Amathole, Buffalo City, Alfred Nzo, O R Tambo and Cacadu.
In a programme called “Rectification of Houses”, Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu in 2005 requested the provincial housing department to ensure that these houses met the NHBRC‘s technical requirements.
“It is against this background that the Eastern Cape provincial housing department, in collaboration with the NHBRC, hereby invites developers and contractors to a briefing session for consideration to participate in the programme,” says a provincial housing department advertisement placed in The Herald yesterday.
This meeting is scheduled for Thursday at Bhisho.
According to a document compiled by the provincial housing department in September, which outlines the province‘s new housing delivery turnaround strategy, Nelson Mandela Bay alone has 14 projects comprising 1 852 defective houses.
Ngosipendula Ntsebeza, Eastern Cape housing department acting general manager for project management and quality assurance, said it would cost about R35-million to rectify these houses. Rectifying work was planned to start this month. In certain parts of Transkei, work started at the beginning of the month.
In the entire province, there are 60 housing projects consisting of nearly 20 000 houses which need repairs and estimated to cost about R304-million.
The most affected municipality is Cacadu with 16 projects consisting of 6 637 houses and estimated to cost R69-million in repairs.
Nelson Mandela Bay comes second with 14 projects comprising 1 852 defective houses and estimated to cost R35-million to repair.
Since the department does not have the capacity, it is now calling for outside builders and contractors to tender for the job. Developers and contractors should be registered with the NHBRC and their status should be active.
These houses were either destroyed by storms or were not built properly.
Sisulu has said those contractors who did not do a good job, but were paid, should be tracked down and made to pay back the money.
She has also said her department now prefers using established contractors to emerging ones.

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