Home News Multimillion-rand NC housing project ‘collapsing’

Multimillion-rand NC housing project ‘collapsing’

490
SHARE

Residents lose homes as project ‘collapses’

Residents lose homes as project ‘collapses’

RESIDENTS of Stilwater near Barkly West have lost their homes as the RDP houses that are part of a multimillion-rand housing project are cracking up and collapsing.

A local resident, Ishmail Solomon, said yesterday that no one was interested in fixing the RDP houses that were built in 2013 as part of a multimillion-rand project to provide low-cost housing.

“About 100 houses are faulty and were not built according to the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) standards and specifications. We have time and again tried to obtain assistance from the municipality, the contractor, the councillor and the Northern Cape Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), but have not received any answers,” said Solomon

He added that the majority of residents were forced to vacate their homes.

“The falling structures have created a safety risk for the families.”

The contractor, Steve Maddocks, indicated that the houses were built based on a geotechnical report that was compiled by Coghsta.

“The soil was approved for the housing project and the houses were designed by professional engineers based on the findings of the report,” said Maddocks.

He stated that the houses were built in 2013, with the five-year guarantee expiring in 2018.

“The houses are situated near the Vaal River where informal miners dug holes. There are also a number of sinkholes in the area. The underground water source is leaking into the foundations which is causing the cracks.”

Maddocks added that he had commissioned his own geotechnical report at his own expense after noticing the structural defects in the houses.

“The report indicated that the houses were built on clay soil and that it is not suitable for the type of foundation that was used. However, I relied on the geotechnical report that was provided by Coghsta when the houses were built.”

The spokesperson for Coghsta, Lerato Khuno, said the Stilwater 150 project was implemented by Dikgatlong Local Municipality.

“Once the project was completed, houses were handed over and the beneficiaries signed happy letters. The onus of maintaining those houses in Stilwater falls entirely with the beneficiaries,” said Khuno.

She indicated that the geotechnical report was conducted by the NHBRC, which recommended a foundation type that was deemed suitable for the construction of the houses.

“To further investigate this matter of Stilwater, the NHBRC was requested to provide a detailed forensic investigation report to determine the instantaneous house crackings.

“Upon completion of this project, houses were inspected and were found to be in a good condition. The structures conformed to the specifications and building standards.”