| Broken Homes How the Eastern Cape's Housing plan has failed the POOR



Bhisho is spending R360 million to fix nearly 20 000 broken homes in the province while the poor live in flimsy cardboard units and ghost towns emerge from the ruins of disastrous housing projects.

In some areas of the province communities have deserted formal housing settlements because homes were so poorly built they cannot be occupied any longer. The number of homes simply having to be repaired is almost equal to the total number of homes built in the 2006/2007 financial year.
While the provincial government tries to rein in its backlog of 800 000 RDP homes, a two-month investigation by the Dispatch has revealed how:

View the video response from EC Department of Housing MEC, Nombulelo Mabandla
Homes were built in areas where people have long since left;
One project in Seymour became state-sponsored “holiday homes” for people who live in other cities and only return in December;
A community in Burgersdorp was moved into cardboard houses when their RDP homes began falling to the ground, and the residents were then asked to clean up the mess themselves;
One project of 600 homes in Tarkastad has been standing empty, while a waiting list to house people continues to grow;
Depopulation and inferior construction in places like Venterstad has led to the emergence of ghost towns; and
A community near Bhisho is still waiting after five years for electricity and water because the government refuses to provide the services until it has finished the housing project it started eight years ago.
The biggest victims in the province’s housing fiasco are among the most vulnerable in the population.Like Loki Makeleni and Ngqukuse Nonxaza, who have been living in flimsy cardboard homes while their shoddy RDP house in Burgersdorp gets repaired.“The government doesn’t care about people who live here. We’re going to die in these houses. I’m just waiting for my coffin right now,” said the elderly Makeleni.To rub salt into the wounds, the local Elundini Municipality wanted the same residents to clear the tons of rubble lining the streets – for free.The problems in Burgersdorp are far from unique – in fact, all but one of the eight housing projects visited by the Dispatch are undergoing reconstruction.In many cases inexperienced contractors have been blamed for the malaise.Two weeks ago Housing MEC Nombulelo Mabandla vowed to blacklist incompetent builders and recover funds from them where necessary.But she said her department would never forsake emerging contractors and would do all they could to mentor them in future.
“The government doesn’t care about people who live here. We’re going to die in these houses. I’m just waiting for my coffin right now”

“We can’t abandon emerging contractors, we have to capacitate them. That is why we have developed a training programme for them, called the Emerging Contractors Development Programme,” she said.
Government policy has also been at fault for, what has been, at times, a misguided approach to building low-income settlements, particularly in towns where people have long since left.Seymour and Venterstad are two examples where RDP homes have been deserted or remain unoccupied because there are no local jobs or poor workmanship has made the buildings unsafe.Yet the reverse has happened in Tarkastad where more than 600 residents are on a waiting list to occupy new low-cost homes in a project that is standing empty.Derek Luyt from the Public Service Accountability Monitor in Grahamstown said the department’s Service Delivery Charter and Service Delivery Plans for 2009 and 2010 highlight its pitfalls.
“Staff shortages and lack of sufficient skills have severely hampered the department in the past, and it will not be able to deliver sufficient houses of adequate quality unless it solves its human resources problems,” said Luyt.



He said the two documents state that one of the three strategic goals of the department is “to provide political, policy and administrative leadership that ensures a well managed, effective and efficient pro-poor department”.“It is high time that it started to deliver on this goal, and only if it does so will it be able to improve on its human resource capacity and performance,” added Luyt.Democratic Alliance spokesperson Pine Pienaar said the huge backlog, lack of monitoring and under-spending in the department was a direct result of the department’s inefficiency to fill critical posts in technical and finance departments.“The department’s under-spending has been close to R1 billion in the past three years because of the inefficiency within the department.” - By GCINA NTSALUBA
What an “eye opener”, “tear jerker” and “get your blood boiling” all in one experience…

Well done to Gcina and Theodore from the Daily Dispatch for their time to compile an in depth study and report on the EASTERN CAPE Housing failure!

What about the remaining 8 provinces?

However, Henry Ford said “Don't find a fault, find a remedy” and this is where moladi provides the solution… www.moladi.net Build more homes faster better for less with moladi plasic formwork

"There is one thing stronger than all the armies of the world, and that is an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo

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