Nelson Mandela Bay housing debacle

Ceiling crackes in  Athayanda Boy's  flat in Motherwell in NU29 Picture: Brian Witbooi
Ceiling cracks in Athayanda Boy’s flat in Motherwell in NU29

A massive housing construction bungle has rocked the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, with an explosive report detailing how an RDP project was built so badly that residents fear the houses are a deathtrap and engineers have warned they are unsafe.

About R17-million was spent on building 162 semidetached double-storey units in NU29, Motherwell, many of which will have to be completely rebuilt.

DISGRACEFUL FIT: Loose skirting boards Picture: BRIAN WITBOOI
DISGRACEFUL FIT: Loose skirting boards

The report uncovered, among other things, that walls had shifted from their foundations, the wooden staircases were unsteady and the wooden floors between the two storeys were unstable.

And valves instead of taps were installed in bathrooms.

Some of the beneficiaries, who moved in between October and December, said they feared for their lives.

Wezekile Maseti, 47, said: “The wooden floors in the bedrooms upstairs are not stable and the doors have a huge gap.”

Nonkululeko Mgudleni, 56, said she was already collecting zinc sheets to build herself a shack in her backyard.

“The bedroom ceilings are cracked and there is a visible gap between the walls and the ceilings,” she said.

Nompumelelo Joyne, 58, said she had nearly broken her leg and arm when she fell down the loose stairs.

Lee-Ann Constable, 18, said they feared the foundation of their house could not handle a strong wind.

The metro’s political head of human settlements, Nqaba Bhanga, will have a meeting with the residents today to explain what went wrong with the project.

Mayor Athol Trollip said they would also be briefed on plans to move them so their houses could be fixed.

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5 thoughts on “Nelson Mandela Bay housing debacle

  • September 22, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Surely the builders and building inspectors should be taken to task. There is no mention of them in the article. The building inspectors work for the municipality after all so the DA should be able to take some action.

    • September 24, 2016 at 8:01 pm

      The building inspectors work from home and they are more interest in their moonlight jobs than on their municipal job.

      • September 26, 2016 at 10:22 am

        I hear you Eben but one has to start somewhere and I think those guys are accountable. The building inspectors represent the interests of the public in their area. They must be held accountable.

  • September 22, 2016 at 9:02 am

    I sincerest apologies to the residents, these houses should in future be subjected to quality inspection. I am a bit at loggerheads with regards to some of the complaints because there’s always the question of whose responsibility is it to maintain the house once the occupant has been given the key to the house?

  • September 22, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Then it’s a good thing another party took over the metro. There was corruption everywhere.
    Let’s hope the DA will rectify all these wrongs and stay in power just for the sake of the people


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