News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Wednesday June 19th 2019

Shoddy housing leads to office sit-in

Hanover Park resident Adielah Cassiem says sand keeps falling out of the mortar between the bricks, and he is scared his house is about to fall down. Photo: Siyabonga Kalipa/WCN                               The offices of the Cape Town Community Housing Company offices were occupied for the whole of Friday by eight representatives from housing recipients in Manenberg, Hanover Park and Mitchell’s Plain. The representatives demanded to see the company’s Chief Executive Officer Fungai Mudimu as they wanted to complain about the shoddy houses the CTCHC had built.The eight said the CTCHC houses were so badly built that residents were worried about their safety. Walls had huge cracks, roofs were leaking and attachments were coming loose.

They said one of their major complaints was that money had been given to the CTCHC to fix these problems but they still remained.

Manenberg representative Gavin Joseph said: “We are very worried because the construction company is finishing working on the 12 December, even though the work is incomplete. There also needs to be communication between the CTCHC and the people.”

Another representative, Gary Hartzenberg said CTCHC were given R82 million to fix problems with the houses and R36 million had been used.

But Hartzenberg said instead of there being R46 million left, the CTCHC CEO had told the Standing Committee on Housing that there was on R16 million left.

“We demand to know what happened to the other R30 million allocated for the 9 council homes managed by CTCHC.

And he said their houses were falling apart because builders cut corners and used inferior materials.
Hanover Park resident Adielah Cassiem, who lives in a CTCHC house, said he lived in fear of his roof falling on his head.

“There are cracks all over and I’ve been living in this house for eight years and nothing has changed. We take out money from our own pockets to fix these houses. It’s even worse when it rains because the rain damages our stuff,” said Cassiem.

The representative waited in the offices from about 9am until Mudimu finally arrived at 4pm.

Senior Communications Manager of CTCHC Bheki Nkonyane said Mudimu had a meeting with the representatives and assured them that although contractors were going on their annual builders holiday in December, they would be back to complete the work in January.

“We need to communicate more with these people because they just talk to the contractor,” said Nkonyane.

The CTCHC was launched by former Cape Town mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo on May 14, 1999, and was to deliver low-cost housing to people who earned between R3 500 and R7 500 per month and wanted something more than an RDP house.

The CTCHC has been involved in nine low-cost housing projects in Cape Town but has been beset with problems.

Complaints of poor quality building have dogged the company from the beginning and costly repair projects have been undertaken, only to have residents voice further complaints.

* Reporting by Siyabonga Kalipa.

Tags: Hanover Park, Manenberg, Mitchell's Plain

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