Tough action against South African housing contractors

Pretoria – Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Jacob Mamabolo, has warned that action will be taken against contractors who fail on their contractual obligations.

“Once we get the facts about why the project was abandoned, we will get the contractor and the employees who were involved in the project and investigate what led to the situation.

Where we find negligence and there are basis for people to be held accountable we will not hesitate to take action,” said MEC Mamabolo.

Speaking at the launch of the provincial ward-based housing audit in Alexandra, on Monday, MEC Mamabolo said the problem of incomplete buildings and houses, which was brought to his attention by ward councillors and concerned residents throughout the province, affected RDP houses, hostels and flats.

He said the housing verification audit on all incomplete housing projects in the province will give government a clear idea of who should be held accountable for this problem and also help government know the extent of the problem.

According to MEC Mamabolo, there are many reasons for the abandonment of projects and some had to do with the capacity of the department to make timely payments to contractors.

He said he was deeply concerned about abandoned projects, adding that in the case of Alexandra it was going to be hard to activate the Alexandra Renewal Project without taking into account what was started and was not finished.

“Currently there is no comprehensive detailed information of abandoned buildings in the province, there is no reliable data of where the abandoned buildings are, what their conditions are and so on. The audit will also give details of how much was spent on each abandoned project, how much still needs to be spent and how long will it take to complete.”

He also emphasised that it was important to close the chapter of abandoned buildings and move over to Mega Human Settlements projects.

“The turnaround of the department must ensure that all legacy projects are completed as the new trajectory of Mega Human Settlements projects unfold,” MEC Mamabolo said.

The MEC’s visit ended with a handover of one uncompleted site of Alexandra Ext 31 to an appointed contractor to complete the project. –