Makana has finally dumped contractors who downed tools earlier this year, stalling urgently needed low-cost housing and forcing new home-owners to use nearby bush as a toilet.
Makana has finally dumped contractors who downed tools earlier this year, stalling urgently needed low-cost housing and forcing new home-owners to use nearby bush as a toilet. The municipality will now dig into its capital budget, using R2 million to urgently relieve the plight of the residents of Eluxolweni and Transit Camp housing projects.
In a report tabled during an ordinary Council meeting last week, Director of Technical Services and Infrastructure Thembinkosi Myalato proposed using funds from the municipality's investment account to complete outstanding work on the Transit Camp and Eluxolweni housing projects.
It emerged that the contractor appointed by the provincial Human Settlements department in 2010 to build 176 low-cost houses in Eluxolweni had ceded its rights to continue the project to the municipality.
Toro Ya Africa according to the report has failed to proceed with work in accordance with the approved programme and problems related to quality and the rate of progress were raised in numerous meetings. A resolution was taken during a meeting on 7 November with the Department of Human Settlements to hand the project over to Makana Municipality.
In a July meeting, Toro Ya Africa was instructed to prioritise the plight of Eluxolweni residents who were forced to relieve themselves in nearby bushes and complete it within two months.
The following month the municipality hired mobile toilets for the affected residents, while the contractor continued.
In September construction came to a complete halt, resulting in the latest move.
The municipality aims to recover the costs of the project from the Department of Human Settlements.
Myalato said the funds from the municipal investment account would be used as bridging funds to complete the outstanding work.
To ensure the process was carried out as speedily as possible Myalato said the municipality would urgently choose a suitable contractor from the municipal database to avoid long tender processes.
According to the report tabled last week, the department is still finalising the cost of the project.
In Transit Camp, in 2008, the department funded construction for services such as sewer lines and water reticulation. That project was completed in 2009.
The following year the department appointed contractors through their SMME capacitation programme to build 440 housing units. These remain unfinished, with only 286 built so far.
The outstanding work includes plumbing: houses are not connected to the municipal sewer lines and the municipality has installed water meters, but the waterpipes are not connected to them.
Some residents have made their own illegal connections.
Because of contractual obligations between the department and the appointed contractors, the municipality has been forced to take over management of the outstanding work, the report states. It continues to explain that Technical Services has no budget for these projects.