Five ‘poorly built’ houses handed over

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - JAN CRONJE

BEN­E­FI­CIA­RIES of a Laven­der Hill hous­ing de­vel­op­ment are up in arms af­ter only five of an ex­pected 24 houses were ready for han­dover yes­ter­day, and that they’d been ad­vised to sleep in the un­fin­ished houses to pro­tect them from van­dal­ism over Christ­mas.

The Ron­de­vlei hous­ing project, lo­cated near Laven­der Hill Sec­ondary School, was de­signed to pro­vide two-bed­room brick houses for res­i­dents of the Cuba Heights and Ron­de­vlei in­for­mal set­tle­ments, as well as peo­ple on the gen­eral hous­ing data­base.

Fifty four houses were built in the first phase.

Yes­ter­day, Char­lotte de Waal, who runs a spaza shop for a liv­ing, was an­gry that any­one ex­pected her to stay in her in­com­plete house.

“How am I sup­posed to sleep in this house?” she said stand­ing in an un­fur­nished room. “There is no wa­ter and no elec­tric­ity. It won’t be my prob­lem if van­dals get into the house.”

De Waal, who lives in Ron­de­vlei in­for­mal set­tle­ment, said her hus­band had started to fix the house’s ceil­ing him­self, and ex­pected to be re­im­bursed by Chi­ware Con­struc­tion, which built the houses.

City mayco mem­ber for hu­man set­tle­ments Tan­deka Gqada said that while 24 houses were due to have been handed over yes­ter­day, only five could be, thanks to “out­stand­ing non- com­pli­ance is­sues”. The re­main­der would be handed over next year once a snag list – a list of prob­lems pre­sented to a builder – had been dealt with.

She added that some res­i­dents had cho­sen to move into the in­com­plete houses to “pro­tect them from van­dal­ism over the fes­tive pe­riod”. And res­i­dents told Weekend Ar­gus yes­ter­day they had in fact been ad­vised by city of­fi­cials to stay in the houses at night.

Howard Soet­wa­ter, 46, is the vice-chair­per­son of the eight- per­son Ron­de­vlei Hous­ing Sup­port Com­mit­tee, a com­mu­nity sup­port or­gan­i­sa­tion se­lected by ben­e­fi­cia­ries to keep them in­formed about new de­vel­op­ments. He said that not a sin­gle house in the de­vel­op­ment “had re­ally been com­pleted”.

Soet­wa­ter added that the com­mu­nity mem­bers had com­plained about cracks in walls, rooms too small for doors to close, no gey­sers as they were al­legedly promised, and a lack of elec­tric­ity.

A man iden­ti­fied as a Chi­ware Con­struc­tion site man­ager, who was in­spect­ing houses, de­clined com­ment. The com­pany could not be reached.


NOT IM­PRESSED: Char­lotte de Waal com­plains about be­ing told to move in to keep her un­fin­ished house from be­ing van­dalised over Christ­mas, as her hus­band Daniel works on the prop­erty him­self. INSET: Some of the cracks which com­mu­nity mem­bers say re­flect shoddy work, in­clud­ing doors not fit­ting and no gey­sers and lack of elec­tric­ity.

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