Housing : Limpopo cracks whip on shoddy contractors

By Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria - The Limpopo Government has developed a clear strategy to deal with shoddy jobs done by certain RDP housing contractors.

Delivering his State of the Province Address on Thursday, Premier Cassel Mathale said part of the strategy would be employing new service providers to finish the work within stipulated time lines.

"We have also completed the process of cancelling the contracts of 42 contractors who did shoddy work by building poor quality RDP houses or abandoning the projects.

"We are finalising the next phase of blacklisting them from the central database of government, in order to bar them from providing any service to government and the people of Limpopo," he said.

Mathale said any company providing services to the provincial government will be required to sign a document that allows for the uplifting of the corporate veil of its individual members to allow the government to blacklist and sue the members.

"Our people have been cheated long enough and it is time to take strong action against these unscrupulous contractors responsible for providing poor services to our communities," he said.

The province has also made progress in the battle against people who were getting RDP houses fraudulently.

With the help of the law enforcement agencies, 113 cases were brought forward for prosecution and in 102 cases people were convicted.

"It is worth to note that we have also managed to recover over R1 million from some of the people who defrauded the RDP system and we are determined to recover every cent due to government," he said.

The Premier also warned that all government employees found guilty of defrauding the RDP housing system by the courts of law shall also be subjected to internal disciplinary processes of their respective departments.

The provincial department of local government and housing has already built and handed over 16 433 houses in the 2009/10 financial year, exceeding the target of 13 978.

This project benefited more than 90 000 needy beneficiaries, and is planning to build 15 400 more houses in this financial year. - BuaNews