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Aspirant homeowners should be careful when buying a house off-plan

By unknown | Apr 18, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Maryanne Maina

Maryanne Maina

Zanele Makobele's story will be familiar to anyone who has bought a yet-to-be-built home.

When she signed up two years ago, the developers told her that the home would be ready by November. Now it is April. Her new home is still not finished , and there seems to be little sign of activity.

Makobele signed up for a development in Kliptown - a initiative undertaken by the Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco). It is a government project known as "rent to own", where houses are rented for five years and then they can be bought.

"Whenever I talk to the construction manager, he never gives a certain date as to when the houses shall be ready. We have been waiting since 2005 and we are yet to move in," Makobele said.

"I have called several times and asked to speak to the chief executive of Joshco, but I have never gotten access to him. I am always asked to speak to the construction manager"

Sowetan received similar treatment. When one of the Sowetan journalists called the construction manager at Joshco, he said that the Gauteng Housing Department is in charge of this project.

Nobody from the Gauteng Housing Department was available to take the call.

The usual advice when building off-plan is to deal only with experienced, reputable builders. In Makobele's case, she signed up for what was to be a showcase government housing plan.

Property developers are notorious for breaking promises. Unfortunately, the same goes for promises from the Housing Department.


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