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Here Is Why Kariega Families Are Stilll Waiting For Their RDP Houses

25 families are still waiting for new RDP houses in Mandela Village, KwaLanga township in Kariega have opened up about their frustrations.

The predominantly elderly citizens state housing complaints have been living in shacks for many months after they were allegedly instructed by the Housing Development Agency (HDA) which serve under the Department of Human Settlements.

One of the RDP house Nongethini Dobo said she ‘was number three in the waiting list of the 25 beneficiaries. However, I am now left alone in one room which is a kitchen, because the four other rooms were torn down by the local contractors.

“They promised me an RDP house but now I sleep among the furniture and the other furniture is with my neighbours, who are panicking.

My children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren had to go and live among relatives because their rooms were demolished.”

She said she built her five shacks in a spacious open field and now lives in a small one room.

“I built my shack house with many rooms in 1978, with my own zinc sheets, my own poles, and my own money that I used to earn as a domestic worker then.

But now I sometimes trip in the yard which is full of rubble after they dug and left a space for an RDP house that they promised. However, it’s now three months waiting in the kitchen for an RDP house. This kitchen I sleep in is like a dog kennel.” she said.

Another granny, 62-year-old Lindiwe Tshanga said she was told by one of the two contractors to demolish her six-room shack.

“My house is now a two-room shack. First, I was so reluctant to let local contractors demolish my other four rooms but the Community Liaison Office of the project, Phumeza Zenzile urged me to demolish some of the rooms or else they will skip my house and build an RDP for another beneficiary and I had to adhere.

“But today my family is living among relatives because their rooms are now an open space with no RDP house built,” she said

CLO of the project, Zenzile said she is also one of the 25 families who did not get the promised RDP house herself.

“I have eight family members and we live in five rooms. The HDA said each house will be a 40 square metre RDP house. But, all of us as 25 beneficiaries, are still living in shacks, sandwiched in one-room shacks.” she said 

HDA spokesperson Tshepo Nkosi said that there is no three months delay on the project.

 “The project name is MandelaVile and each unit cost R116000.00, which is the applicable housing subsidy quantum (in addition to related geo-tech costs determined by the applicable site conditions.

“The project is within the implementation schedule and currently on time to be completed within the set time frame.

The site was handed over to contractors on 8 June this year. Since then, site establishment, beneficiary verification, and other project administration processes were conducted by the contractor, the HDA and the ECDHS.” he said

Nkosi said there is a beneficiary engagement and project facilitation team that consists of the Eastern Cape Department of Human Settlements and HDA staff that is working with beneficiaries on the ground.

“They are continuously engaging the community regarding project related processes. They assist the community with beneficiary applications and explain the criteria for qualifying for government subsidy.

If there is any misunderstanding, the government institution that is responsive to our communities, we strongly encourage the beneficiaries to contact any of our project managers or beneficiary management teams on site so they can get assistance,” said Nkosi.

By Thamsanqa Mbovane

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