Residents in Toevlug in Ventersdorp, North West, say an incomplete housing project has become a haven for criminals in the area. The contractor reportedly abandoned the site without completing the project.
The project which began in 2018 was meant to build 360 RDP houses. But the provincial Department of Human Settlements insists that it will soon be completed.
The low-cost housing project to build about 360 RDP houses was left incomplete by the contractor. Some of the community members in the area who are beneficiaries of these houses had to complete several of the structures themselves.
Some of the houses have no window frames, roofing and doors. Some yards only have a foundation. However, residents say criminal activities such as rape and robberies are taking place in these houses.
A community representative, Christy Schalkwyk, says, “There is a case of a woman who was raped in this incomplete houses and there is a case of a child who hanged himself in one of these houses. That is why we have a plea to the department that these houses must be completed so that all this should be prevented,” says Schalkwyk.
Some beneficiaries say they have urged the provincial Department of Human Settlement to complete the project.
“We are still waiting for the contractor to install sewer pipes and they have not yet arrived and I am asking myself when are they going to finish these houses while they have not started with the sewer pipes. We are getting rent papers from the municipality. They say we must pay rent. Even in our yards, we do not have water meters.”
Lydia Monoto says she once found a young man hanged in her incomplete RDP house.
“Children are playing in these houses whereby a child climbed the window frames and he ended up hanging himself with a rope and he was injured badly and it was painful because there was nothing that we could do,” says Monoto.
Meanwhile, the head of the Human Settlements Department in the province, Neo Sephuthi, says the contractor will resume the project soon.
“The contractor is committed to finishing the project. We met last week Thursday in Ventersdorp with the community committee. We have agreed on the following; the contractor had ordered the material which will be delivered on or before the last week of June and he will be back on-site in the first week of July,” says Sephuthi.
The department has urged the community to be patient and allow the contractor to complete the project.