Human Settlements Minister Nomaindia Mfeketo revealed R1 132 986 045 was spent by six provinces to rectify shoddily built houses over the past five financial years. File picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The DA has described the more than R1.1billion spent to rectify shoddily built low-cost houses by the Human Settlements Department as shocking.

It said the contractors responsible should be blacklisted

“The statistics speak to officials who appoint contractors that do not have the capacity to build,” DA parliamentarian Solly Malatsi said on Wednesday.

Malatsi made the comment after Human Settlements Minister Nomaindia Mfeketo revealed R1 132 986 045 was spent by six provinces to rectify shoddily built houses over the past five financial years.

Mfeketo revealed this in a written response to parliamentary questions posed by Malatsi.

He had enquired about the total amounts spent by the department in each of the nine provinces to rebuild the shoddily built houses and the number of houses that were rebuilt.

Mfeketo said KwaZulu-Natal spent R639551000 to repair or rebuild 4115 houses in 2013-14 and 2017-18.

The Free State spent R284 643 951 on rectifying an undisclosed number of the shoddily built houses in the same period.

North West followed with the rectification of 2600 houses at a cost of R70 486 058. Limpopo rebuilt 869 houses to the tune of R68 770 940 and the Western Cape spent R6 740 4577 on an undisclosed number of houses.

The Eastern Cape spent the smallest amount, R2 129 519, on rebuilding and repairs.

Mfeketo said Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape reported not to have incurred any expenditure rectifying housing with structural defects or old houses.

Four provinces, however, have indicated that they still needed to rectify 11843 houses, said Mfeketo.

KwaZulu-Natal has yet to fix 6027 houses, Limpopo 5291, North West 514 and Western Cape 11.

Malatsi said the rectification of the houses was resulting in a loss of billions of rand.

“It is high time that the contractors who build substandard houses are blacklisted and prevented from benefiting from the state.

“We can’t continue building substandard houses,” he charged.

Malatsi also said the fact that Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape did not release their expenditure figures indicated the total amount for all provinces could be much higher.

“We will submit additional questions. There have to be consequences for contractors who do not deliver quality houses and officials who appoint such contractors,” he added.

He lamented the use of substandard material by contractors to build low-cost houses. “These houses using substandard material are given to South Africans by the ANC government. Billions of rand are being lost.”

Meanwhile, Mfeketo said a total of 145846 title deeds were issued by the nine provinces since 2015-16.

Only 11089 title deeds had been issued since April 2018.

Gauteng led the pack in issuing title deeds with 44 441, followed by the Western Cape at 32 855, Free State at 20 259, Mpumalanga with 17 598 and North West with 16 420.

The other provinces recorded a lower number of title deeds issued: KwaZulu-Natal (5711), Northern Cape (3 982), Eastern Cape (2 985) and Limpopo (1 595).

Political Bureau