Pretoria - Another contractor is being sought to finish off 1200 houses in Ga-Rankuwa left abandoned for the past eight years.
During an in-loco inspection yesterday, MMC for Housing and Human Settlements Sello Maimane said work was done from 2011 to 2014 but the contractor abandoned the project without completing the job.
Opportunistic criminals had stolen all sorts of materials from the incomplete houses such as door frames, windows and bricks.
“Rampant theft of material took place due to the site not being secured when the contractor left.”
Last year another contractor was appointed to complete the houses, but the damage was substantial.
Maimane said reports on tests done on the foundations could not be found. This led to the demolition of the foundations and contractual disputes in June over payment.
As a result, the contractor abandoned the project, and later the site, after a mutual contract termination. Another contractor is to be secured to work on the remainder of the project.
“At this stage I cannot say when the contractor will be appointed as it will be in the hands of supply chain. Due diligence also has to be done, but it should be soon as the process has started.”
Community members on the waiting list had been severely affected, he said, as they could not be allocated houses elsewhere.
So far more than R34million has been spent on the project.
DA provincial human settlements spokesperson Kate Lorimer said she was shocked when in reply to her questions Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Lebogang Maile revealed that the incomplete houses in Zone 10 were assessed by a consulting engineer.
A report was compiled in March last year which recommended the structures on site be demolished and rebuilt. Lorimer said the millions spent on building the houses would go down the drain. “This is a waste of taxpayers' money and we can no longer tolerate such abuse.”
This housing project was initiated in May 2011 and was supposed to be completed on June 30, 2014. The initial budget was R190 988 838.
“These houses have been vandalised, the walls partially demolished, and the bricks stolen as well as the window and door frames. Some of these houses are without roofs, others consist of concrete slabs only.”
Lorimer said this clearly indicated poor planning, poor project management and misappropriation of funds from the department as the houses were left incomplete for over eight years and were vulnerable to vandalism. “This is one of many unfinished housing projects abandoned by this department.
“The MEC said there are contractual disputes and this matter is still before the court.”
However, the project is expected to resume before the end of the current 2019/20 financial year. A budget has been allocated for the project.
She said if this project was complete it would ease the provincial housing backlog which has reached over a million and keeps rising. “I'll continue to put pressure on MEC Maile to ensure this project resumes and is completed within budget,” said Lorimer.