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The City's Belhar-Pentech Breaking New Ground (BNG) project, meant to provide 340 families with houses, will not be completed in time due to “technical and community” challenges, authorities have confirmed.

A beneficiary, one of at least 50 who said residents were told they would occupy the units by the end of February, said the delay was just another “excuse”.

The R55 million project, expected to provide 340 BNG units at a site located on the corner of Edison Drive and Herschel Way in Belhar, was expected to be completed at the end of 2019, but the completion date has been extended to next year, Mayco member Grant Twigg said yesterday.

Beneficiary Suzan Hoffman, 53, said the City last updated them on the progress of the project in January, when they were told at least 50 families would move in by the end of February.

Hoffman, who has been on the housing database for nearly 20 years, said: “There's always another story as to why we have to wait.

“I'm living in a wendy house at the back of my sister's house. It's cold, but there are many people who are worse off than me. Many beneficiaries are backyard dwellers.”

The project comprised two phases, Twigg said: phase 1, consisting of 207 units; and phase 2, consisting of 133 units.

“Both were due for completion at the end of 2019, but have been extended to early 2020 due to technical and community challenges. A recovery programme is under way by both contractors to make up for lost time. Both contracts are still valid and are being administered as per the terms pertaining to extension of time, quality and delivery provisions.”

The first set of 18 units had been handed over on May 6, with a further 16 units expected to be handed over on Friday, Twigg said.

It was also anticipated that an additional 58 units would be handed over in July. The project includes semi-detached and free-standing single-storey houses, as well as the installation of electrical infrastructure, street lighting and side walks.