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All temporary housing projects to be probed

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In some areas like Harrismith, 500 corrugated iron shelters were built for R22 000 each.

Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu. File image

Johannesburg – The Department of Human Settlements will investigate all recent temporary housing unit projects across the country following complaints of high costs and shoddy substandard building.

The department put up temporary housing units in different parts of the country to alleviate overcrowding in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19 but most of the projects have been marred with controversy because of their high costs and in some cases flimsy structures.

On Monday, Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu instructed the director-general for the Department of Human Settlements Mbulelo Tshangana to commission an investigation of all the recent projects relating to temporary residential units.

Sisulu said that this would include the construction of the temporary shelters for Silahliwe and Linda Mkhondo in Harrismith, Free State.

In that area, 500 corrugated iron shelters were built for R22 000 each.

Sisulu said: “We have a responsibility to spend our limited resources wisely. There must be value for each and every cent we spend. Therefore, shoddy workmanship will never be tolerated.” She said if it was found that norms and standards were flouted, action would be taken against the companies that had put up the structures.

Last month, Sisulu received and is studying a report from the National Home Builders Registration Council on the Talana temporary residential units in Tzaneen, Limpopo.

The Limpopo government led by Premier Stanley Mathabatha handed over 44 units built for occupants of the overcrowded Talana Hostel.

After complaints, Mathabatha and human settlements asked the NHBRC to investigate the quality and compliance status of the units. Each of the units cost R64 000 to erect.

In Mamelodi, the government missed the July deadline to construct 1 000 temporary units. The structures were meant to alleviate overcrowding in hotels around Mamelodi.

The Star