A multi-million rand housing project halted due to budgetary constraints is expected to resume this year. The Tekwane South Housing Project in Mpumalanga began in 2015 and was scheduled to be completed in 2017.

However, the provincial Human Settlement Department claims it diverted funds budgeted for the project to refurbish the storm damaged houses in KaNyamazane. It was a housing project abandoned in favour of another one leaving the barely completed houses at the mercy of vandals.

It dashed the hopes of the beneficiaries.

“We want to see the project completed for us to move in failing which government should allow us to complete the houses ourselves,” says beneficiary Siphi Simelane.

The Community Liaison Officer Sbonga Mthethwa has confirmed that the project was halted due to financial constraints. Mthethwa confirmed that the Human Settlement Department experienced budgetary challenges and it failed to honour its obligation.

“We had a meeting with the department and Mbombela officials. Basically they were saying that the department has failed to pay the main contractor.”

Plans are afoot to complete and hand over the houses.

A new deadline has been set for August this year. “In terms of the new instruction given to us is to make sure that the houses are complete,” says contractor Raymond Mhlaba.

The Human Settlement Department was not available to comment.