Goodwood housing project is expected to provide accommodation to 1055 households. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency
Cape Town - Almost a year after a sod-turning event by DA politicians and then national minister of human settlements, Nomaindia Mfeketo, for a multimillion-rand housing development in Goodwood, not a single brick has been laid, owing to problems in appointing a contractor.

The R380million social housing project in Goodwood was supposed to get off the ground immediately after the sod turning, but instead the piece of land has been turned into an illegal dumping site with vagrants occupying the land.

Spokesperson for the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements Nathan Adriaanse confirmed that construction has been delayed “due to various technical challenges on site”.

“The department is aware of this challenge. This is being addressed by the Social Housing Regulator Authority (SHRA) and the relevant social housing institution. The province, together with SHRA, the City of Cape Town as partners regularly meet with the specific social housing institution to support and assist it to resolve the challenges,” he said. Adriaanse referred questions about the appointment of a contractor to SHRA.

DCI Community Housing Services, the developer, said the contractors that applied to construct the houses were not of proper standing. According to DCI, they have received applications for contractors but they were turned down because they had not been able to prove they were financially stable.

General manager Fezile Calana said: ‘We have received six applications but we had to turn them down because they were not in a proper financial position. Most of the construction companies are going under and it’s not easy to appoint a contractor. Some do not meet the proper criteria as well.”

SHRA spokesperson Lesego Diale said the process of selecting a construction company has taken a long time, “because first we have to relocate the overhead wires and mast poles. This process has to be incorporated into the normal running of the trains (on the Goodwood line).

“Second, it is the building of the boundary wall to avoid any injuries while structures are being built.

"Third, a corridor study had to be undertaken which is now complete. The top structure will be built after the three have taken place and that is January 2020.”

Diale said they are aware of the challenges at the site.

In February, the province, together with the national Department of Human Settlements, held a sod turning and the development was expected to deliver 1050 rental housing units. The development is a joint effort between national and provincial departments of Human Settlements, SHRA, the City, Passenger Rail Agency of SA and the Intersite Asset Investments and the National Housing Finance Corporation, among others.

The government subsidy for the project is about R280m.

The provincial human settlements department and SHRA is adamant that the first phase of the development will be completed next year.

@MarvinCharles17

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Cape Argus