People have been applying for RDP houses since 1996 and some have been waiting for houses since then until now. Some applied last year and have already been allocated houses while others who have been waiting for years are still on the waiting list – some have even died without ever setting their eyes on the house. This is one of many issues the working class faces with the Department of Housing and Human Settlement.
Over a thousand houses have been built in Tsietsi Extension 10 (near Katlehong on the East Rand of Gauteng) and yet the majority of the people are unhappy about the houses they were given by the government. This is not because our people are ungrateful but because the houses they were given and are staying in are as good as staying in a shack.
The water taps always have one issue after another, the geysers often leak and damage the roofs and walls sometimes even dripping to the floor. The light bulbs don’t last for long before bursting its fuse because of the poor electrical work. Most of the windows don’t close properly bringing the wind, dust and cold into the house, and it’s the same with the doors. The door handles often jam or break and there’s something that often goes wrong with the toilets. When it rains the water, the doors swell up making it difficult to open or close them.
These are the issues that community members complain about on a daily basis, some have accepted these conditions as long as they have a roof over their heads.
“It’s like I’m living in a shack made of bricks,” one community member stated.
Occupants in Extension 10 have only been living in these houses for 2-3 years but complain that it’s like they have been in these houses for more than 20years.
“We fix these houses more than people who have been staying in bond houses for over 20 years. You fix one thing then the next thing breaks” one occupant explained.
It’s clear that these RDP construction tenders are given to people who don’t care about the community or building proper houses. They want to make as much profit as possible while not considering the fact that they are endangering people’s lives. They often resort to using cheap building material and getting unqualified people who will do the job for a cheap salary. In all this it’s always the working class that suffers.
This article was submitted on 2 July 2022. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.