Greg Smith, of the Conifers Concerned Ratepayers’ Association, points out poor workmanship at an infill housing development in the area. Picture: Edwin Lombard/Cape Argus
Cape Town - Residents in The Conifers, Blue Downs, are fuming over an infill housing development they say will add an extra burden to the sewerage system, and claim the houses are riddled with construction errors.

“We were consulted that they intend to build houses in the area, but by the time we could object the deal was done.

“There was no transparency,” said Janine Lewis, a member of the Conifers Concerned Ratepayers Association.

She said they found out in 2014 that the deal was signed, initially for RDP houses, and started fighting in 2015.

“Our main concern is that if they build 200 free houses, those residents are not going to pay our rates and taxes and they are not going to pay for service delivery,” she said.

The association drew up a petition in 2016 and brought a lawyer on board to compel the province and city council to listen to them, and the houses were changed to bonded houses, with a bank loan and government subsidy.

“The residents if they sell their homes the infill houses could affect their property values,” Lewis said.

André van Rooi, chairperson of the association, said their main concern was the manner in which the development was being constructed.

“They have been bypassing construction laws like the height of the foundation slab,” Van Rooi said.

He said other faults included corners which did not have block joints that were properly bonded.

After the Ratepayers Association complained to the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC), they confirmed that they found the construction of the homes to be non-compliant.

“I picked up that we issued a couple of non-compliances on this project.

“Our inspector is willing to meet on site,” Eugene Kleinhans a senior home inspector for the NHBRC, said.

Tshepo Nkosi, spokesperson for the NHBRC, said NHBRC inspectors found some units to be non-compliant during a routine inspection on the construction site and issued 30 non-compliance notices against the home builder.

Subsequent to this, the inspectors met with the builder and the engineer on site to resolve the situation.

However, the problems of poor workmanship were still persisting and had not been resolved.

“This has been escalated to the NHBRC legal department for further investigation and possible prosecution of this non-compliant home-builder,” Nkosi said.

The provincial Department of Human Settlements said: “The department is aware of these concerns.”


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Cape Argus