No ploy to mislead Scopa - dept

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cape Town - There has never been any intention to mislead Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) regarding defects found at some houses at the N2 Gateway Housing Project, says the Department of Human Settlements.

This after Scopa visited the housing project on Wednesday to view whether progress had been made on defects reported by the Auditor General in his report.

The defects, which were identified by the Auditor General, were cracks in the walls and floors, peeling paint, doors that were not fitted properly as well as loose fittings and uncovered drain pipes.

Scopa said it was shocked to learn that the defects in the houses built at the project had not been fixed as was earlier reported by the department.

"There has never been any intention to mislead Scopa. This is a complex project involving all three spheres of government and we remain totally committed to ensuring its success in partnership with all stakeholders," the department said last night.

The department said it was hard at work to ensure that the defects on the homes as well as dissatisfaction from residents were given the necessary attention.

According to the department, a private audit was conducted on Joe Slovo 1, about 18 months ago which showed an absence of fundamental structural challenges.

It showed a number of professional handiwork shortcomings with relation to roofs and some of the plumbing after which the consortia responsible were called to solve the problems.

"That rectification work and subsequent defects that have been identified is continuously receiving attention as reported by the managing agents.

"In our opinion, if latent defects have subsequently revealed themselves, then they will have to be addressed by the implementing consortia," the department said.

The ministry said that issues relating to breakage and damages caused by tenant ignorance and in certain areas neglect had different means of recourse and were also receiving attention.

"The department will give a detailed report on the progress once the technical experts provide it on Thursday," it said. -