Nearly 7,000 poor families who have never owned a house of their own will soon have a roof over their heads, following a financial injection by the Limpopo cooperative governance, housing and traditional affairs department.
MEC Basikopo Makamu said yesterday his department has set aside R8.24 million for the construction of RDP houses.
Most of the houses would be built in far-flung rural areas of the province, as the majority of poor people lived in rural areas, Makamu said.
Limpopo, one of the poorest provinces in the country after the Eastern Cape, is divided into five districts. The province has a population of more than 5.8 million people, with the majority working on farms or depending on government social grants for survival.
Last year, the Democratic Alliance (DA) complained several RDP houses had been left abandoned by the department, following allegations of poor workmanship and contractual squabbles.
Recently, former Limpopo housing MEC Jerry Ndou was criticised for having spent more than R68 million to rectify 869 poorly built RDP houses.
In Sekhukhune alone, 73 RDP houses in eight villages were either abandoned or left incomplete by the department since 2014.
DA leader Jaques Smalle accused the department of also sending more than R100 million back to Treasury, while the majority of the poor sleep in the cold.
In Mopani, angry residents, who braved the cold weather to construct makeshift homes after their houses were swept away by a vicious storm, accused the department of making empty promises.
The residents claimed they still had to wait for their houses three years after the Letaba local municipality promised to give them a roof over their heads.
“But we are still waiting three years after the promise,” said Maropeng Moremi of Ditshosing village near GaMaphalle.
Some houses were built but not complete. Others had already developed cracks, posing a danger.
Makamu said the department had terminated the contracts of 23 companies due to reasons similar to those in Mopani.
He said some companies defaulted on the contracts, while others could not finish construction for several reasons, including shoddy work and financial implications.