Munsieville nightmare – another good story gone wrong

mogale city sign

In June 2016, when political parties were gearing up for local elections, Mogale City Local Municipality had their hands full with service delivery protests.

In order to appease voters, the government promised RDP houses to angry voters in Munsieville.

“The building of new houses is funded by the Gauteng province and they duly stepped in and started laying down cement slabs in great haste to ensure loyalty and votes,” said Amanda de Lange of the Freedom Front Plus.

By mid-July 2016, 94 slabs had been cast on the northern side of Munsieville. This would have been a great step in the right direction to address proper housing for the poor, but the project was stopped dead in its tracks and is where the ‘good story to tell’ about the ANC local government and the Gauteng Provincial Department of Housing comes to an end.

According to Amanda, the number of gross irregularities so far on this project is staggering.

“The development lies on a slope which requires proper planning and special pre-development work to avoid dangerous erosion. The slabs were cast on soil that was never compacted to strengthen the foundations. According to quality reports by the project engineer, who is responsible for the design and execution of the project, they should have established the storm water, sewer and other necessary infrastructure networks before the slabs were cast. The ground formation requires blasting which cannot be done now as it will further damage the already compromised foundations.”

Amanda went on to say that the size of the slabs that were cast is not what was planned for the small lots. There is no proper space around the houses for people to plant a garden. Most of the houses are 40m2 on a 55m2 plot. To add insult to injury, there are no roads between the houses which means that people cannot even get to some of the houses on foot, let alone in a vehicle. Residents will have to park their vehicles in a narrow road three rows of houses away.

“It is clear from correspondence that Urban Dynamics, who are the responsible contractors, were forewarned on a number of occasions that they were not complying with the original designs and required building regulations”. Amanda stated further that the housing project originated by the Gauteng Housing Department is also not enrolled with the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC). As per correspondence, the NHBRC declined the application for this contract as the submission was inadequate. There are no retaining walls either to give integrity to the foundations of the houses.

The project has cost a whopping R9 million so far, Amanda said, and there is nothing to show for it apart from 94 slabs and soil erosion that is causing the slabs to crack and break up.

“It is a disgrace that the taxpayer’s money is squandered away like this and promises by the ANC government to people at the bottom of the food-chain are just empty promises, made solely to get their votes.”

Amanda concluded by saying that housing projects like these are the joint responsibility of the Gauteng Province in collaboration with local government, and Mogale City’s new multi-party government will not allow any irregularities or gambling with the lives of the residents.

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