OUR story last Friday about how the government has to spend R2billion fixing faulty RDP houses, is a classic case of the old adage of an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure.
The government will want to spin this to reflect that it is so caring that it is correcting its errors. We are not impressed.
The poor, who have been made to live in houses that we all know are worse than what the apartheid government built, could not care less that we think the government should have set minimum standards.
It should also have ensured that these standards were met by builders and that there were penalties for failure to live up to their side of the bargain.
By now having to spend money on what it had already procured, the state is robbing those waiting for their turn to own homes.
The R500million already spent in the past three-and-a-half years repairing the shoddy workmanship of RDP contractors is money that could have gone a long way to reducing the housing backlog.
The only ones who need not be bothered about such expenditure are the contractors who have been smiling all the way to the bank, knowing that the state has aided them in milking all of us who pay taxes.
As it is, tax revenue is expected to shrink as a result of the dwindling economy. In these trying times a better use could have been found for the R2billion.
It is a tragedy that could have been prevented by remembering that a stitch in time saves nine.