Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance said on Wednesday that the Department of Human Settlements had spent over R2 billion in the last three years to rectify poorly-built houses sometimes at the cost of R300 000 per house. This is three times the cost of a standard house built in the Reconstruction and Development Programme.
DA MP Makashule Gana said: “At this week’s Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements we learnt that it could cost up to R300 000 to restore just one RDP house. This is three times the cost of building one from scratch.
“The presentation revealed that in the Northern Cape, R6 929 000 was spent on the restoration of just 32 houses. This amounts to R216 000 per house,” Makashule said.
“In the Free State, the department spent almost R80 million on the restoration of just 264 houses in that province. This amounts to R302 250 per house. R334 million was spent in the Eastern Cape fixing 3 123 houses at R107 000 per house - that is just over the estimated cost of building a new one.
Makashule said it would have been cheaper to demolish the houses and build new, more durable ones and that he would be putting forward questions in parliament. He called on Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu to provide information on:
The contractors responsible for the original shoddy workmanship;
The exact nature of the repairs that cost more than it did to build the house; and
The systems put in place to monitor the quality of house being built.
“Due to over-charging, it now seems that far less houses were fixed than would otherwise have been possible with this money,” he added.
“In any event, the need to repair so many houses across the country points to a tender process that is highly irregular. The minister would do well to focus her efforts on ensuring that the process of awarding such contracts is objective, transparent and free from, what we suspect, is undue political influence.”