EThekwini Municipal housing projects halted after home builders council raises concerns
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DURBAN - Two housing projects, worth millions of rand being built by the eThekwini Municipality, have been halted by the home building regulatory body after it picked up construction concerns during inspections.
Molebogeng Taunyane, the acting manager: corporate communication & stakeholder relations for the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) said the housing projects in Kennedy Road and Amaoti had been halted.
The projects are meant to accommodate more than 1 000 families.
Issues with the construction projects were flagged by the Office of the Auditor-General.
The A-G flagged the housing project at the Kennedy Road Dodoma site where the municipality has built about 45 houses at a cost of R9 million.
The A-G also flagged the Amaoti housing project, where the municipality is building about 948 houses at a cost of R98m.
Among the A-G’s concerns were that the projects were not completed by the planned date and there appeared to be quality defects such as structural cracks.
The NHBRC said during an inspection of the Kennedy Road project, it had issued technical non-compliances and requested a geo-technical investigation be conducted on the project due to the stabilisation issues that were identified.
“EThekwini has since contracted specialist geo-technical engineers to look into this. The construction of the structures has been suspended until such time that the stabilisation exercise is completed,” Taunyane said.
Regarding the Amaoti Cuba Project, the NHBRC said the project had been stopped “due to technical non-compliances issued on seven of the units in order for the banks to be stabilised before construction can resume”.
During a visit to Kennedy Road, The Mercury found the terrain on which the flats had been built, had cracks.
A community member living close to the flats, who declined to be named, said the contractors had not been on site for the past three weeks.
“I know that the senior managers from the contractors have visited in the past few days to check on the project but the workers have not been here for the past three weeks,” said the community member.
The source said after the houses were built, the contractors noticed that the ground on which the flats were built was opening up.
“Another problem is the joining of the walls, some of the walls are cracking open because they were not properly joined,” said the community member.
Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said regarding the Kennedy Road project that a comprehensive geo-technical investigation was undertaken in connection with stabilising terrain.
He said the geo-technical specialist found poor deep-seated founding conditions and provided recommendations to ensure the bank’s stability in the vicinity of the project area.
“We are aware that cracks have been brought to the attention of the contractor to address. Under no circumstances will the city hand over houses that have defects as that would be a recipe for a disaster.”
Mayisela said the contractor had not been on site due to a dispute with local contractors but would be returning next week.
“The stability and construction of the remaining works is planned and expected to be completed at the end of July and thereafter 45 families will be allocated in this project.”
Regarding the issues with the seven units at the Amaoti project, Mayisela said he was not aware of the matter and would look into it.