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Contractor owed R600K for housing project

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Published Sep 7, 2015

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Johannesburg - Richard Skofana is about to be served with a letter of demand from his supplier, and his employees are threatening to burn his house down.

The owner of PR Winners Electrical Contractor is in a dire situation after he wasn’t paid for work done on a housing project that falls under the Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP).

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Skofana’s company was hired to work on phase 2 of the Botlhabela housing project, after the flats were illegally occupied and vandalised in 2014.

The subcontractor started work at the beginning of May and was supposed to receive a payment by the end of June. When, by the end of July, Skofana had still not received payment, he was forced to halt his services without completing the work on the buildings.

Four months down the line, he still hasn’t seen a cent, despite submitting two invoices.

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“They owe me R600 000,” the distressed Skofana told The Star. “They’ve been saying the money’s in somebody’s account (but) they’re just sending us from pillar to post.”

Skofana’s life is now in shambles and he fears for his and his family’s safety. “I haven’t been able to pay my workers. They invaded my place, they were so rude. They spoke to my wife and promised to burn the place down,” he said.

Skofana is also potentially facing legal action after he failed to pay his electrical supplier.

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“I owe him about R150 000. He’s so angry with me. He said I’m going to be served with a letter of demand by his attorneys.”

Department of Human Settlements spokesman Motsamai Motlhaolwa said it wasn’t their project and that if fell under the ARP. But the ARP insisted the department was involved. An ARP official, who didn’t want to be named, said “the invoices were in the system” and would be signed off by the project’s head of department and chief financial officer by Friday. ARP claimed they were “on top of the situation”.

They failed, however, to indicate to The Star why there had been such a lengthy delay in payment. The Botlhabela Project built 232 two-bedroom flats as part of the national Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme, which is the drive by the Department of Human Settlements to provide a subsidy to allow aspiring homeowners to purchase a home.

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