Mabuza takes some heat
A FAMILY of eight has accused Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza of breaking his promise to build a house for them after theirs collapsed during heavy rains earlier this year.
Million Mahlakoana, a father of six from Matibidi near Graskop, said his three-roomed mud house collapsed during heavy rains in January this year. No one was injured.
"About two weeks later David Mabuza came to the area. He said two tents would be erected and we' d sleep in them temporarily," he said.
Mahlakoana lives with his wife, children and uncle in a yard that has two other rooms. The rooms, built of mud, have cracks inside and outside. They, also could collapse at any time.
Mahlakoana's uncle occupies one room, while he and his wife and their children - aged between 11 months and 17 years - share the other room.
He said: "We used to sleep in the tent because we were afraid the rooms would collapse."
He said a foundation was laid in March but the contractor just left it like that.
"We did not see him in April, May, June and July. He came last month, just a week before (Public Protector) Thuli Madonsela came to the province. She was here to meet communities and talk about housing and other service delivery concerns and that was when he started building it," he said.
The RDP house has a roof, but there are no windows and it has yet to be plastered.
Mahlakoana, who had found a job as a long-distance taxi driver, said he was forced to quit his job because he was concerned about his family's safety.
"I was away from home for weeks . I was stressed and worried about them. I quit my job and came home.
"The house was built so quickly. I doubt it was properly done ," he said.
Mabuza's spokesman, Zibonele Mncwango, referred Sowetan to the department of human settlement.
Human Settlement Department spokesman Freddy Ngobe said the department's emergency housing assistance programme is in the process of establishing the exact progress of the house in question. - firstname.lastname@example.org