Five ‘poorly built’ houses handed over
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.