Was a geotechnical report done on Chicken Farm land?

The article “Huge project will benefit luck few and Six years in yard as RDP house cracks” (Daily Dispatch, September 22) refers.  Housing protests have caused mass disruption, especially in Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay over the past few months as people express their dissatisfaction with poor workmanship.

The fact of the matter is that in both these two areas — Chicken Farm and Duncan Village — poor communities are exploited by a few well-connected political insiders that sacrifice quality work ethic for self-serving profitable expedience.

Nomboniso Fukula should ask the BCMM housing officials how they could have built her house without conducting a geotechnical report (soil suitability) and environmental impact assessments. The DA has noted with interest that there have been widespread problems with the structural quality of housing delivered in the two Metros.

National statistics published in 2010 indicate that one third of recipients were unhappy with the quality of the structures they received. In 2011 the national director general for Human Settlements said it would cost R58 billion to fix shoddy RDP houses already built in South Africa.

In February 2013, the Public Protector reported to parliament that she investigated 5 000 complaints in the previous year and found houses that lacked foundations and homes that had been built from material which crumbled on touch.

The lack of affordable, well located, suitable land for low cost housing also resulted in the housing programme largely extending existing areas, often on the urban periphery and achieving limited integration. Post-1994 extensions to settlements have generally lacked the qualities necessary to enable a decent quality of life.

This is attributed largely to the lack of funding and poor alignment of budgets and priorities between line function departments and municipalities responsible for providing social facilities in new communities.

A central challenge has been to transform the extremely complicated bureaucratic processes that must allow for a housing chapter that must form part of the local municipality’s Integrated Development Plan. Without IDP housing chapters and quality project management, housing programmes are doomed.

I will be writing to Human Settlements ANC MEC Helen Sauls-August to investigate the two matters for any compliance failures.

Kobus Botha, MPL

DA Shadow MEC for Human Settlements

Bhisho