Tshwane mayor Randall Williams weighs in on Atteridgeville RDP housing fiasco
Pretoria – The blame-game surrounding the shoddily-built 40 RDP houses in Atteridgeville Extension 19 continues.
This time mayor Randall Williams has blamed the former City administrators for poor workmanship on the houses built with the proceeds from the 2017 sale of a mayoral mansion in Muckleneuk.
The administrators – appointed by the provincial government to run the metro following council dissolution – have become the latest to be blamed for the long-overdue project.
In February, the then-mayor Stevens Mokgalapa pointed fingers at the contractor for the shoddy work identified in the construction of the low-cost houses.
Prior to that, when Solly Msimanga was at the helm, he utilised the proceeds from the sale of the official mayoral house, which had been sold on auction for R5.1 million.
Contacted for comment earlier this year, Msimanga was unhappy about the slow pace at which the houses were being built.
Mokgalapa also attributed the delays to specifications for the houses, which exceeded the budgeted amount.
According to him, there were 21 houses completed, and the rest were scheduled for the end of March finalisation.
However, it would appear the City was still struggling to complete the project.
Instead, according to Williams, the intention was to have the beneficiaries moving into the houses in December 2020.
Beneficiaries have, in the past, told the Pretoria News the housing project should have been completed by October last year when even then some houses were complete, and beneficiaries were already living in them.
They complained foundations of some houses were shaky and they feared they might collapse in the event of heavy storms.
The foundations of some houses were not high enough to prevent water from flowing inside when it rained.
Williams said: “By the end of 2017, the mansion had been sold and the funds allocated towards the project. In 2018, the land was identified, the designs put in place, a tender was awarded, and the chosen contractors were deployed to site for work to get under way.”
He said the administrators abandoned the project by failing to ensure there was proper oversight and hold the project managers to account in the eight months they were in office.
“After hearing disturbing reports on how the project had fallen into ruin, I immediately deployed MMC Mpho Mehlape-Zimu to do a site inspection and evaluate what is happening on the ground. The houses are not up to the required standard. It is clear that the contractors took advantage while the ANC was in office,” he said.
He said Mehlape-Zimu has indicated she could save this project.
Williams said: “In the meantime, I will be instituting blacklisting processes against the contractors that effectively stole from this city.”