Metro wants explanation on faulty houses

Human settlements director Nolwandle Qgiba, left, and councillor Nqaba Bhanga address the media
Picture: Eugene Coetzee

Legal action to be taken to force report from builders council, housing minister

Legal action will be taken against the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) and Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to compile and release a report that includes details of structural defects on the NU29 housing project.

This is according to Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality human settlements political head Nqaba Bhanga, who was speaking at a media briefing yesterday.

“I’ve instructed the human settlements executive director [Nolwandle Gqiba] to start the processes to institute legal action because everyone is blaming everyone,” he said.

“As a city we can’t just do something about development without us being clear on whose responsibility it is.”

Bhanga said the NHBRC had provided the certification passing the workmanship for the 162 duplexes and the municipality wanted an explanation as to why so many of the structures had since fallen apart.

“We believe that the NHBRC is responsible because it did the certification that looks into the quality of the structures.

“We will cite the minister also because she is responsible for human settlements,” Bhanga said.

NHBRC spokeswoman Molebogeng Taunyane said the housing agency was not aware of any additional report needed by the municipality other than the one provided in March.

This report was presented to the human settlements committee, but it was sent back to the NHBRC as an internal engineer with the housing agent compiled the report and stated there were no defects on the project.

The wrangle between the municipality and the NHBRC comes after a man died when a half-built structure collapsed on top of him as he was removing cement blocks from an incomplete house at the project on Tuesday.

The housing project has been idle for nearly three years as the budget was depleted and there were concerns the homes had become structurally unsound. It has been targeted by vandals and vagrants.

Bhanga said the housing debacle had occurred under the previous government, but the DA-led coalition was set on finalising the matter.

“The metro is taking legal action to compel the institution to produce a report and take appropriate action.”

The project continued to deteriorate and residents’ concerns were warranted, he said.

Housing Development Agency spokesman Xolani Xundu said the project was a concern for all parties involved in the value chain.

“Everything needs to be done to correct the wrongs that led to the project being what it is currently.”

He said all housing reports related to the development had been given to the municipality.

“It is up to the municipality to decide what to do with them,” Xuthu said.

Sisulu’s spokesman, Vusi Tshose, could not be reached for comment.

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