Massive housing project collapses

Elisha Molefe

Elisha Molefe

A R160million low-cost housing pilot project in North West has collapsed after the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) failed to issue quality assurance certificates for payment to contractors.

The NHBRC says some of the houses in the project were either not checked or registered with the council. Now some building companies attached to the project have instituted legal action against the Klerksdorp local municipality for R17million for the completed units.

Toro Ya Afrika, a building company that was awarded a big chunk of the project, has threatened the Matlosane local municipality with legal action if it did not honour its side of the bargain.

Phetola Mokgathe, NHBRC chief executive, claimed that Toro Ya Afrika had not registered houses they had built.

"The province or the municipality has been forbidden to pay a contractor before they enrol the project with the NHBRC," he said.

Toro chief executive Frik Nel said it was the function of the province or the municipality to register projects.

"Matlosane indicated that we should continue with construction as they are in control of enrolment of the projects," said Nel.

Matlosane municipality, which has instituted a forensic audit on all housing projects, welcomed the NHBRC decision to suspend all building activities.

Last year, former North West housing MEC Phenye Vilakazi, told the provincial government that the construction of houses would continue while the forensic investigation surrounding Toro continued.