Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The quality of RDP houses in rural Limpopo is in the spotlight again.

Questions have been raised about the quality of the houses after a 49-year-old woman died in the Maruleng area when the wall of her house collapsed on her.

But the MEC for local government and housing, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, is adamant that the house was inspected and approved.

Department spokesman Clayson Monyela said it was "unfortunate" that the storm was so powerful and that "even houses not built by the government were also damaged during the storm".

Maria Mathebula died after a wall fell on her on Tuesday night while she was asleep.

Her family said the house was a "death trap", and are holding the department and the developer responsible for Mathebula's death.

They blamed poor workmanship for their mother's death.

"Had it not been for the poor workmanship, my mother would be alive," said Madibe Mathebula yesterday.

Monyela said a team of inspectors had been dispatched to inspect the damage.

"The department will rebuild the house within a month and will also attend to those that were damaged by the storm.

"We are confident that the houses we deliver to our people are of good quality and of acceptable standards," Monyela said.

He explained the process followed before and during construction.

"We appoint an independent body to carry out soil analysis and then engineers determine if the kind of building mixture is suitable for the area.

"We also appoint an independent project manager who ensures that the developer adheres to acceptable standards," Monyela said.

The ANC Youth League in Maruleng has also entered the fray.

The ANCYL's Duncan Kgohlwane said they were compiling a list of names of people who bought the cement at a low price from the developers.

He said investigations about claims that developers and inspectors approve houses that were below standard were at an advanced stage.

"This compromises the lives of our people and cannot be accepted," Kgohlwane said.