State keeps promise - 11668 ruined houses fixed
WHEN the rainy season started about two months ago, residents of Gauteng's townships whose houses were damaged by a hailstorm last year were concerned.
A total of 36598 houses on the West Rand and Tshwane townships had their roofs destroyed by a heavy storm in December.
Days after the storm, government undertook to help the affected residents fix their damaged houses, most of which had asbestos roofs.
A jubilant Dennis Mangope said his family's nightmare of living in a house without a roof is now over.
Gauteng local government and housing spokesman Motsamai Motlhaolwa said at least 11668 houses had been repaired.
He said the department had spent R415-million in the previous and and current financial year on this project.
"Words can't express my gratitude. The municipality has kept its promise and their work is satisfactory. I couldn't be happier," said Mangope.
In Kagiso, which falls under the Mogale City local municipality, residents protested last month at the slow pace of the project.
They complained that their belongings were being destroyed by rain.
David Letsie, member of the mayoral committee for housing in Mogale City, said proper procedures were not adhered to when contractors were appointed and that when treasury released funds to contractors, they were found not to be on the database.
"What I can say now is that two weeks after the protest this year, Ultrasonic Express, which is the only contractor fixing the houses, started its work," said Letsie.
"Our aim was to have finished the work before the rainy season. However, due to the delay with the validity of the contractors, we can only say that we plan to finish as soon as possible."
For more stories like this one, be sure to buy the Sowetan newspaper from Mondays to Fridays