Quality of houses built in Thaba Phatswa questionable

Issued by Lyle Bouwer – DA Councillor Mantsopa Local Municipality
27 Jan 2023 in Press Statements

The DA will approach the Free State MEC of Human Settlements (HS) in the provincial Legislature, to obtain information on the homes that were destroyed in Thaba Phatswa as a result of a heavy storm.

Residents were left with damaged homes and, in some cases, homeless after a violent storm smashed through the walls of poorly built houses this past weekend. Please see pictures before here, here and here and after the storm.

Similar concerns have previously been brought up with Mxolisi Dukwana, MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA). He reverted to seeking assistance from the Mantsopa Local Municipality.

On June 23, 2022, during a question-and-answer session, the DA requested information about the contractor who was responsible for constructing such homes of inferior quality. Instead of specifying whether the project involved provincial or municipal homes, the MEC just stated that the project’s cost was R 12 042 034.43. Furthermore, the matter should be reported to the local municipality. The houses were built in the 2014/2015 financial year and during the six-month defect liability period, the houses were of good quality and certified to be as per the Human Settlements norms and standards according to the MEC responsible for COGTA & HS.

The quality of life for people living in Thaba Phatswa is cause for grave concern. The communities in Middelstraat, Langstraat, Sewende Laan, and a portion of Thaba Phatswa, live in run-down homes. The disaster of the past weekend could have been prevented if the DA’s calls for accountability were responded to or better still if the ANC government spent less time pointing fingers at each other and tackled the problems as they rose.

As part of a good governance policy, DA-governed municipalities ensure housing backlogs are taken seriously and progress is made with good quality safe housing being built in line with SABS building regulations. Ultimately, the war against poor governance can be won by voting for a DA-run province in 2024.