Joy of owning RDP house has turned sour

Nokuzola Madikane shows Vukani the underground leaking water pipe that has been tormening her.

Makhaza resident Nokuzola Madikane is accusing the construction company that built her house of negligence after she discovered that an underground water pipe is leaking.

This has led to flooding and damage to the house which has prevented Ms Madikane from moving in.

An angry Ms Madikane said she went to inspect her house two weeks ago after contractors finished their work but was shocked to find the house flooded.

She told Vukani that she alerted the workers to the problem. Ms Madikane said she raised the matter with the project leader but her concerns were completely ignored.

Ms Madikane, 53, is a beneficiary of the Imvumelwano People’s Housing Process (PHP) project.

She said she moved from the plot in August last year with the promise of moving back in October.

However, eight months later she is yet to move into the house.

Ms Madikane said other people’s houses have been completed but she now stays in a dilapidated two-roomed shack and is battling the cold and winter rains. She used to run a soup kitchen for children and the needy in her neighbourhood but that has since stopped until she moves into her house.

Ms Madikane said she does not have a toilet and has to go around begging people to use theirs.

“I have lost hope and I do not know what to do to make these people fix my house.

“The joy of finally owning a house has turned sour. These people care less about our pleas.

“But when they talk about us to the officials they act as if they care about us. I have tried countless times to inform the leader of the housing project but he just sends me from pillar to post without fixing the matter,” she said.

Ms Madikane said with her options running out, she was then advised to contact the media with the hope that the relevant authorities would provide assistance.

The provincial Department of Human Settlements confirmed that Ms Madikane is a beneficiary of the Imvumelwano PHP, however, they said the project is being managed by the City of Cape Town who would be better placed to respond to the matter.

However, chaiperson of the Imvumelwano PHP, Lwazi Ngwane said Ms Madikane never informed them about the leaking water pipe.

He said he heard about the matter from other people and he immediately enquired from the construction workers about the matter who promised to resolved it. He said he was shocked about her claims that she had been sent from pillar to post looking for help.

Asked why the house took so long to be completed when Ms Madikane was promised that it would be done within a month, he said there were many things that could lead to the delay of the house such as the delay of the building material or other unforeseen challenges that are beyond their control.

Anda Ntsodo, mayoral committee member for east area, said the leaking water pipe in question is situated where the toilet was supposed to be, but this plan has since been changed. He said the contractor will cut the pipe off on the outside of the house once the wet areas have improved. In the meantime, he said the contractor has tied the pipe to stop the leaking. He said the house is not complete yet and any snags would be raised and dealt with before the actual handover.