Slipshod RDP houses
RESIDENTS of Matoporong at Reddersburg in Free State claim their RDP houses are ticking "time bombs" that can explode any time.
The houses represent anything but excellent work and many have gaping cracks on the walls. The residents have complained that they were moved into the houses that may collapse on them.
Othilia Mabolotsane's four-roomed house is just waiting to collapse. "The house could be reduced to rubble with a simple soft push using one hand," Mabolotsane, said.
The structure is not level and its roof can easily be blown over by the wind.
The house is one of many that have cracks on the walls. Some people have placed rocks and other heavy objects on the rooftops to prevent strong winds from blowing their houses away.
Although Mabolotsane's house was handed to her in 2004, her family is still afraid to move into it. Instead, they have been living in a two-roomed shack erected behind the house.
The walls have large cracks that one can easily see through. The walls inside are not plastered. Window frames are tied up with wire to avoid them from falling. Walls near the doors of the house also have cracks, making it easy for the doors to fall off.
Her neighbours have described the house as the worst built RDP house in the country. "I am scared of moving in here," said Mabolotsane.
Mabolotsane said she had lost count of her complaints and the number of government officials who had visited her house.
Her neighbour, Sindephi Jika, is also in the same predicament. Each year, Jika spends money to fill up the gaping cracks on his house.
And another neighbour, Peter Mophale's house is among those that were never completed. Contractors only completed a kitchen and a bedroom, leaving two other rooms not roofed. The walls have since collapsed.
Kopanong local municipality mayor Xolile Matwa said they were aware of the problems faced by residents. "We have told them that the government will complete all the houses, including fixing the cracks on the walls. We urge the residents to be patient because we understand their frustrations ," said Matwa.
Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale had earlier told Parliament that more than R400-million of his department's budget was spent on shoddy houses that pre-date the year 2002, which could otherwise have been used to construct over 7,000 housing units.