Abandoned development a concern

These skeleton houses in Freedom Square are harbours of crime. They have been unfinished for more than 10 years.

Nyanga residents have again raised their concerns about the unfinished RDP houses in the area. The residents say the skeleton houses have been standing for more than 10 years and have become security risks and dump sites.

Some residents said they are willing to occupy the houses in Mkhonto and Freedom Square because are causing many headaches in the area.

A resident, who spoke to Vukani on condition of anonymity for fear of harassment, said the abandoned houses have become hangouts for thieves and criminals.

“Criminals will hide behind the high walls and rob people of their belongings. It has happened many times. That is why something needs to be done with these ugly walls.” he said.

Residents say they have filed numerous complaints the department of Human Settlements and the local councillor but nothing has been done.

Another resident, who identified herself as Lungi and lives near the unfinished buildings, said; “We all know that crime is very high in our communities, especially crimes such as rape, robbery, housebreaking, and others are on the rise. Now imagine these empty and abandoned houses. The risk is high and the chances of people being robbed, killed, raped are higher. We are asking for the government to allow people to occupy them so that we can live more safely, without fear of being robbed and killed. But of course they need to be worked up a lot in renovations,” she said.

The chairperson of the Nyanga Community Policing Forum (CPF) Bishop Dumisani Qwebe has confirmed that they have been in contact with the Department of Human Settlements but nothing has been done. He said the CPF were concerned about the rise in crime because of the houses.

“Last year Human Settlements promised to renovate the houses but later, boom they told us about the changing of the contractor and the engineer. But our concern is crime and that the walls might fall on children who also play there. It is not safe for the community,” said the Mr Qwebe.

The department of Human Settlements said they would check on the details of the project and reply once they had more information.

Vukani has tried to contact the local councillor but has had no success.

The unfinished RDP houses in Mkhonto have been vandalised and are a concern.