Residents of Bray outside Vryburg in the North West are blaming government for a delay in the completion of a local housing project.

They say they were never told why contractors abandoned the project.

The task to build about 1000 housing units, which started in 2013, was abandoned by one contractor in 2016.

Half of the houses are still incomplete.

Community representative Bob Namusi says government is to blame for the situation.

“There were three contractors appointed for this project. So one contractor was coming in and out and we did not have any explanation why the contactors left the project incomplete. We blame the government because in terms of our little [limited] understanding there was poor monitoring of progress on their side,” says Namusi.

Video: Director-General of Human Settlements Department, Mbulelo Tshangana, talks about budget priorities for 2021:

The North West Provincial Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements is considering a criminal complaint against those involved in the project.

Chairperson for the committee Aaron Motswana says, “The reason why we want figures, how much was the first contractor paid, how much was the rest of them [paid]? What are the reasons? Should we establish that houses were not complete but monies were paid, we are going to open criminal charges.”

“We are not only going to lay criminal charges against the contractor but with the department also. Because there are people who are in collusion with these particular contractors. Despite their non-performance they will continue to be paid,” adds Motswana.

Meanwhile, the Mangaung Metro Municipality says its role in ensuring that residents of the metro have housing is to make land available for housing.

Municipal spokesperson Qondile Khedama says, “Well the city is doing its part in making sure that people get ervens with bulk services because this is [the] contribution that we can make as the City. The other thing that we do is make sure that out of the 7 000 ervens that we have already, we have given out a sizeable amount. Now we are going to accelerate this because one of the things we have done is to make sure that even the rental stock is in a condition that it accommodates people and particularly those at a certain category of human settlement or housing.”

Some Bloemfontein residents join forces to maintain aging infrastructure: