Tourism regulations

Tourism Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu. Image via Twitter

Sisulu ‘studying’ report into Limpopo’s R2.4 million shack saga

The Limpopo government came under fire for the multimillion rand shack project, prompting Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to enter the fray and launch a probe

Tourism regulations

Tourism Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu. Image via Twitter

The Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu has received the report looking into the embarrassing multi-million rand informal structure project in Tzaneen, Limpopo, and is currently reviewing its contents.

The temporary housing units, which came with a R2.4 million price tag, were handed over to residents of the Talana Hostel on 31 July during a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by the province’s Premier Stan Mathabatha as well as the MEC for Cooperative Governance Basiko Makamu.

At least 40 shacks made of corrugated iron sheets were built, each individual structure costing a whopping R64 000 – which many industry insiders, including those that had bid for the project, said was completely overpriced. This sparked questions around the contracts and whether there was anything untoward in its awarding.

Human Settlements Minister to make recommendations

Just days after the ceremony, residents reported a number of defects with the units, including broken door handles.

After initially being mum on the debacle, Mathabatha said it was national government that had to answer for the shoddy work and not his administration. This, along with the outcry from community members, prompted Sisulu to order a probe by the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC), an agency of the Department that oversees quality assurance of all human settlements projects.

Sisulu had also said she was not satisfied with the work done on the structures and that proper checks were supposed to be conducted prior to them being handed over to recipients.

In a statement, the minister’s spokesperson Yonela Diko said she is reviewing the report and would make recommendations based on its outcomes.

 “Following public concerns about the 40 TRUs handed over by the Limpopo Premier, the National Department of Human Settlements instructed the NHBRC to investigate the quality and compliance status of the completed units and carry out a technical verification of the quality and compliance with norms and standards as well as requirements as set out in the National Housing Code (2009)”, Diko further said.

Limpopo shack project suspended

The project, which was still ongoing, was put on hold, pending the investigation.

“Yes, we have suspended the project in an endeavour to give space for the investigations to take place. We are currently investigating several allegations levelled on the project. Upon the conclusion of the investigations, we will resume with the project, taking in consideration aspects raised so that it could stand the test of time”, MEC Makamu said.

Hostel residents in Mamelodi, Tshwane are also outraged over temporary structures, to which the minister said consideration would be made.

“…it is worth noting that these structures were being built to reduce the number of occupants in the overcrowded hostel units in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 and were not meant to be permanent as reported in some media houses”, Diko concluded.