MacKenzieville housing project placed on hold

DA ward councillor Wollaston Labuschagne has expressed his dismay towards government officials who are not providing any answers as to why the MacKenzieville Housing Project has been placed on hold. The project was scheduled for completion at the end of 2017, but beneficiaries from the Alrapark and MacKenzieville communities are yet to receive the title deeds to the new RDP houses.

The MacKenzieville Extension 2 Housing Project was announced as far back as November 2015 to residents of Alrapark and MacKenzieville, but the project which was said to be completed by the end of 2017, has now been placed on hold.

 
According to DA ward councillor Wollaston Labuschagne, the City of Ekurhuleni’s (CoE) building control department and the Disaster and Emergency Management Services (DEMS) Departments have noted a number of building transgressions, which resulted in the project being placed on hold. Since the work stoppage in April 2018, one of the contractors on site also refused to compensate local workers and the appointed community liaison officer.

 
“I have sent numerous emails to the MMC of Human Settlements Lesiba Mpya, his HOD and the project manager, but I am yet to receive any response. At a mayoral Imbizo on 30 May 2018, the MMC of Environment and Waste Management Services Ndosi Shongwe, was informed of the gravity of the situation and the plight of workers that have not been paid by the contractor for two months.

 

When MMC Shongwe put questions to the Human Settlements Project Manager, he assured the MMC he will pursue the matter. However, three weeks later, absolutely nothing has been done and the unemployed people, that were supposed to have benefited from the project, are left without any income,” Labuschagne said.

 

Documents and information concerning the project clearly state that the housing project should have been finalised and the 600 houses should have been completed by now, but it seems the CoE is unable to provide information on the current situation or when construction will resume.

 

“When I contacted one of the directors of the construction company, I was abruptly told that the department owes her over R5 million,” Labuschagne said, but added that CoE officials are disputing the amount.

 

Labuschagne emphasised that hundreds of unemployed residents and sub-contractors are now left without an income, despite the fact that the construction company has entered into a binding employment agreement with them.

 

“Furthermore, the subsidy process has not even commenced and the beneficiary list for the RDP houses is also yet to be made available. It is clear that MMC Mpya is not capable of managing his department or the contractors. His lethargy has resulted in the grave inconvenience and deprivation of the poor, homeless and unemployed residents. Yet again, innocent residents have to suffer because of the incompetence of the CoE’s leaders,” Labuschagne concluded.

 

Housing remains a priority in the country and according the DA, it will continue holding the ANC accountable until they fulfil their mandate of providing adequate housing for the people.

 

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Heidelberg Nigel Heraut

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