A GROUP of residents from renovated flats in Croton Road refuse to move in until defects are fixed. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng /African News Agency (ANA)
A GROUP of residents from renovated flats in Croton Road refuse to move in until defects are fixed. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng /African News Agency (ANA)

Wentworth residents want building defects repaired before they move back in

By Zainul Dawood Time of article published Jan 28, 2021

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Durban – A MEETING will be held on Thursday with a group of residents in Wentworth who are refusing to move into their refurbished apartments until all defects are repaired.

The provincial Department of Human Settlements had relocated the 10 families to a decanting unit while their block of flats in Croton Road was being renovated. The units were completed in mid-November. Today, community leaders are expected to address the residents and find an amicable solution.

On Friday, the department issued a notice to the tenants to vacate the decanting units and move back into their residential units because they were in violation of a lease agreement.

The department stated that failure to adhere to this notification would result in it embarking on a formal eviction process from both the decanting facilities and their respective rental units. The department also said the residents’ actions were depriving other beneficiaries of this programme from having their units refurbished. Further, the department felt it was also impacting on the overall project costs.

The residents claimed there were several building defects they had requested to be repaired before they move in. These included water pressure, problems with the installation of the doors and electrical plug points. Residents, who did not want to be named, said they were standing up for what was right and would contest the notice.

“They have been trying to sabotage the decanting units and forcing us to move back. They say they want to sort our the defects, then they no longer want to be held responsible for the defects,” a resident complained.

Ward councillor Aubrey Snyman said the contractors should sort out the complaints as per the contract. He said the residents had the right to complain.

Human Settlements spokesperson Mbulelo Baloyi said water meters would be replaced shortly so that the respective households could be responsible for their consumption.

“Currently, the department is responsible for water bills, not the occupants,” said Baloyi.

He said electrical work and plug points had been relocated to their original points at the time of initial construction. Therefore, all blank electrical boxes had been blanked off as per Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) regulations.

“All construction snags are usually reported to the project team to resolve. In this case, the community liaison officer has reported that all works in terms of the scope of work approved for the project have been completed. If any future defects have been identified it is usually repaired within seven days once the occupation takes place.

“To date the project is attracting standby costs to the detriment of the overall project budget and construction programme. Their actions are depriving other families from benefiting from the rectification programme. All complaints follow a process and these tenants have not done so. The contractor is committed to complete all legitimate complaints which is verified and authorised by the implementing agent.”

Pictured are one of the defects Wentworth flat residents have complained about. I Motshwari Mofokeng /African News Agency (ANA)

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