Beneficiaries of a housing project next to Tekwane South outside Mbombela in Mpumalanga are calling on government to allocate the houses, which are currently unoccupied. More than 100 units of the more than 200 housing project were completed in 2019. The beneficiaries claim that they have been renting rooms for years now.

Beneficiaries of the housing project are concerned about the delay in handing over of the houses. The beneficiaries say some of them have no money to pay their landlords because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They fear that the RDP houses might be vandalised even before they receive them. Thapelo Rakgotla, a father of two is one of the beneficiaries. He has been renting a room for several years.

“We registered 8 years ago but still there is no feedback. We are struggling a lot here in Tekwane South. The government must help us by providing the houses because we can see the houses are there but there is no information, although we registered.”

Thulile Mavuso is unemployed and a mother of five young children. A Good Samaritan had offered her a house to live with her children for free for the past four years. However, the homeowner has now given her until the end of the month to vacate the house.

“There is nothing I can do, I don’t know where to go because I am unemployed, some of my children are not attending school because of my situation.”

The Local Ward Councillor Joseph Mashaba says he is also in the dark as to why the houses have not been allocated to the beneficiaries.

“It’s a lot of stress now, people are tired, they have come to my house, they even know their stand numbers. They say they can even try to get water, they are not even prepared to wait for water. I am having a big problem, I am trying to block them but the way they are coming anything can happen at any time.”

The City of Mbombela Municipality says the recent flooding in the area has contributed to the delay in handing over the houses.

Spokesperson for the City of Mbombela Joseph Ngala explains, “The problem the people are not taking occupation of the houses currently is due to the recent disasters, the pipeline that was dedicated to that new settlement was washed away but what we are doing as the government we are building a bypass in the next two to three weeks so that water goes direct to the houses. It is in our interest that people take occupation of the houses before they are vandalised.”

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Provincial Department of Human Settlement, Freddy Ngobe had this to say about the housing project, “What is proving difficult now is that the water pressure is not enough to go through the water household, as a result, there has been a meeting undertaken between the two institutions. The MEC has intervened, we are expecting a technical report that will advise on how to best deal with the problem and we are hoping that after all that is done, will be able to supply the water to the houses and the people can move in because the houses are done.”

Currently, the province has a 250 0000 housing backlog.