Vusi Ndlovu

Vusi Ndlovu

About 41 families in Braamfischerville outside Soweto are to be relocated because their RDP houses have been built on ground that is waterlogged.

This emerged after residents of the government low-cost housing settlement complained that their houses were falling apart.

They believe that the damage was caused by shoddy workmanship or that the structures were built on dolomitic ground because the area is close to the old Durban Deep Mine in Roodepoort, West Rand.

According to the Gauteng housing department, the damage was caused by poor infrastructural planning.

Mavis Matthews, who lives with her three sisters and five grandchildren, says they are worried that their house will collapse on them one day.

"We are hardly ten years in these houses and the walls are cracking," she said.

"The houses are very cold and heaters make no difference. They shouldn't have built here because there is too much water underground."

Matthews said their local councillor, Wilson Mfaba, told them they would be relocated to Lakeside in the Vaal.

"We refused because a lot of people work in Roodepoort. That place is too far," she said.

Gauteng housing department spokesman Aviva Manqa confirmed that 41 households would be moved because their homes stood on waterlogged ground.

He said that a geological study was conducted before the area was developed to determine if it was safe to build houses.

"The problem on this site is poor stormwater management. No stormwater management has been constructed.

"The site is very steep, so water runs down from high areas to low-lying areas and this causes flooding and the deterioration of the houses," Manqa said.

Residents showed Sowetan cracked walls. The plaster in some houses has also fallen off.

Manqa said 54 stands were initially affected. He says while some families will be relocated, the council will construct stormwater infrastructure to make sure that the remaining houses are not affected. .

He says the department will later move other residents who are affected to houses that are being built.