RDP houses built of mud, says DA

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

The Mpumalanga housing department is delivering mud houses to the poor of our province, the DA said yesterday.

Last month the DA released findings from a visit to Emzinoni in Bethal, the site of a housing project where 36 RDP houses collapsed after a storm hit the area early last month.

"We suspected sub-standard workmanship and undertook to have cement samples from the collapsed houses sent for laboratory tests to determine the quality of the cement-sand ratio used in the mortar," said DA leader in the province, Anthony Benadie.

"The DA has received results of the tests and can now state that the department is effectively building mud houses," he said.

He said the cement-sand ratio used in the Emzinoni project was seven times weaker than the required minimum standards.

"Insufficient cement was used to bind sand particles to one another, the result being that the cement was too weak to hold the bricks in place," said Benadie.

He said the DA believed the situation was caused by the use of unqualified and unskilled contractors who deliberately took "short cuts" to save on expenses, effectively defrauding the department and the people.

He said such poor workmanship not only put the lives of residents at risk, but also cost the department thousands of rands in rebuilding these houses.

Benadie said his party had yesterday submitted its findings to the MEC for Local Government and Housing, Candith Mashego-Dlamini.

The DA, said Benadie, had recommended to the MEC that all costs incurred in the building of the houses, as well as costs incurred by the department, the municipality and any other party, be recovered from the responsible contractor.