Sexwale concerned about N2 Gateway houses

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pretoria - Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale is concerned about the building quality of houses at the N2 Gateway Housing Project.

According to the department, Minister Sexwale has noted with great concern the comments made by Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on the project.

In a statement on Thursday, the department confirmed that the minister visited the project in August and, like Scopa, was concerned by the building quality of the housing units.

Minister Sexwale is now waiting for a report from Scopa, including its recommendations and comments on information provided by the departmental officials and will then act without any equivocation.

Scopa Chairperson Themba Godi and other committee members visited the housing project on Wednesday to view whether progress had been made on defects on the houses, 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.

Meanwhile, the department has said it was never their intention to mislead Scopa regarding defects found at some houses at the project.

"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.

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 was also receiving attention.