Winterveldt residents have given up on acquiring new RDP houses, as thousands have been left unoccupied since being completed four years ago.
New Tshwane MMC for housing and human settlements Mandla Nkomo said more than 1 000 houses had not been handed over to beneficiaries and were open to vandalism and criminal activities.
“When I was appointed MMC on Friday, I enquired about the houses and was informed they were unoccupied due to a dispute between the plot owners and the municipality. Also, there were no beneficiaries for these houses. But all of these claims still need to be confirmed,” he said yesterday.
He said the construction of each house cost about R100 000. According to a resident, who wished to remain anonymous, the vacant houses had become crime hot spots.
A schoolgirl was allegedly raped in the area while walking with her boyfriend earlier this month, the resident said.
“They were approached by three to four men and all of them raped her,” he said.
Some of these RDP houses don’t have windows, ceilings, plumbing or electrical connections.
Other houses were missing windows and door frames, apparently stolen. One of the vacant houses was occupied by local drug users. The resident said the community had stopped numerous people from occupying the houses illegally.
He said he and six of his family members had applied for houses over the past seven years, but none of them had received any feedback. The family had since given up on moving into the houses.
Some of the RDP houses are inside fenced premises and a woman, who also wished to remain anonymous, said the municipality built the house in her yard in 2012 but failed to inform her whether the house belonged to her or not. The house was still vacant and incomplete.
“I don’t know who it belongs to. In the meantime, I use it to store some of our belongings.”
Nkomo said he would have a meeting today to conclude the list of beneficiaries and would find out from the building contractors why the houses were incomplete.
“This will be a verification process. If there is a backlog of people waiting for new houses, well, here are new houses.
“We also need to know where the plot owners and the municipality stand at this point.”