WOMEN from Ndlovukazi outside Komani have set up the Lesseyton Women’s Forum to probe the slow progress of a Department of Human Settlements housing project worth more than R85-million.The women claim that many promises were made regarding the building of 752 houses in the area in 2013 but only a few have been completed.
Forum member Nobulumko Waxa cited poor management between the dep
artment and contractors as the main cause of the delay.“We established the forum to oversee development and progress in the projects in our area,” Waxa said.“It had been a long time since this project started, yet we do not see where it is going. They are changing contractors and sub- contractors all the time and people are fed up.”
According to Waxa, Daku Calana Investment Holdings (DCI) was originally contracted by the department to build the houses.“DCI started this project in 2014 but they had a problem of not paying workers and subcontractors on time.“Meetings were held and DCI promised to correct the payment issues but it never happened. There were numerous meetings with officials from the Department of Human Settlements.“This project is worth millions but there is nothing to show for it,” she said.
Phunyezwa Mpontsane said materials, stocked at various areas in the village, was being stolen.“They bring companies and subcontractors from Cape Town and Durban.“In October, we [the women] met and went to the site office with our grievances after we saw what was happening. The material is vanishing and people from the area are not being employed. We wanted the subcontractors to be people from here.”DCI project manager Asanda Mabheca said their company left last year because of contractual issues with the department.
“We do not know what is happening. There were misunderstandings between the department and our company and that is the only information I can give you.”Department of Human Settlements corporate communications director Lwandile Sicwetsha said work was continuing.
“The company contracted by the department is on site. They did not leave the site. The [new] company started in November last year and the actual construction of houses started on February 16. It is expected to finish by February 15 2018.”He said of the 752 houses planned for construction, 148 had been completed so far.