West residents furious over crumbling RDP houses

Thomas Mamashala in front of his house. Photo: Kayla van Petegem

Residents in the west of Pretoria have complained about a litany of issues at their dilapidated RDP houses.

The residents said they feared for their safety because their Elandspoort homes were literally falling apart.

Resident Angelina Mokoana said they noticed their RDP homes were falling apart when they first moved in in 2013.

“After numerous complaints to the Tshwane metro, no one has helped us.”

She said the previous ward councillor asked residents to write their concerns down and give the list to him.

ALSO READ: Cope discusses RDP irregularities in Atteridgeville with public protector

“While we were waiting for answers, the councillor resigned.”

She said they had again reported their problems to the new local councillor Carlo de Bruin after the 2016 election “but we have not heard anything”.

She said they were grateful for their homes but could not continue living in such conditions.

Another resident Cassandra Nel said she was afraid her house would collapse on her.

“The wall is already crumbling and I am afraid that it will end up falling on someone,” she said.

Nel’s husband was recently diagnosed with cancer and struggles to walk.

“I cannot take him around the house or let him sit outside as the wall could fall over at any minute,” she said.

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“We had to prop it up with wood and our neighbours propped up theirs with bricks.”

Jeremaihah Mooiman said his roof was falling apart.

“When the wind blows, pieces of it blow off,” he said.

“I hold my breath when there is a strong wind.”

Residents also said leaking geysers were a common problem.

Thomas Mamashala said his geyser had been leaking since the day he moved in.

“I’ve had to replace part of the ceiling damaged by the water,” he said.

Mamashala said his doors did not close properly because the cracked walls had moved.

He said he had started repairing his house.

De Bruin said the state of the RDP houses in Elandspoort was poor.

“Residents informed me that their roofs are repeatedly leaking, most geysers are non-functional, and houses are starting to crack barely five years after they were built,” he said.

He said the matter had been escalated to the metro for help.

“The responsibility of social housing sits with the province which limits the city’s ability to comprehensively address the issues.

At the time of my query, I was also informed that the warranty on the geysers had lapsed and therefore it remained the responsibility of the residents.

For structural complaints, residents should visit the housing offices for guidance. The general maintenance remains the responsibility of the resident. I urge the housing department to assist with a clear guidance and communication to residents.”

He said residents also had to contend with a vandalised park, illegal dumping and overgrown bushes near their houses. “I am currently working with the relevant departments to deal with these issues.

ALSO READ: Residents reminded about terms and conditions regarding RDP houses

“Residents are welcome to, as always, engage me towards solutions. Please log all your queries and escalations on www.ward3.co.za/support. Always first report your issue to the relevant municipal departments before logging an escalation.”

Comment from the Tshwane metro could not be obtained immediately.

VIDEO:

The houses are falling apart. Photo: Kayla van Petegem

The houses are falling apart. Photo: Kayla van Petegem

The houses are falling apart. Photo: Kayla van Petegem

The houses are falling apart. Photo: Kayla van Petegem

The houses are falling apart. Photo: Kayla van Petegem

Cassandra Nel showing a crack causing her walls to shift. Photo: Kayla van Petegem

Do you have more information about the story? Please send us an email to [email protected] or phone us on 083 625 4114.

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  AUTHOR
Kayla van Petegem

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