South Africa: R83 Million and Three and a Half Years Later Only One RDP House to Show for It

Namibia Stop 8 Housing Project in Inanda started in 2019 and was meant to deliver hundreds of houses

  • The Namibia Stop 8 Housing Project in eThekwini started in 2019 but to date only one RDP house has been completed.
  • Hundreds of families relocated for the project have been living in cramped conditions in a poorly serviced transit camp for three and half years.
  • The municipality blames bureaucratic delays, the Covid pandemic, the July 2021 unrest, and the KZN floods for the delays.

The Namibia Stop 8 Housing Project in Inanda, eThekwini, started in 2019, but to date only one RDP house has been completed.

Residents say the construction company was on site from 2019 to 2020, but stopped because of the Covid pandemic.

According to eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Lindiwe Khuzwayo, the development – located about 30km from Durban centre – comprises 500 serviced sites and 343 new housing units. She said R83-million had been spent so far.

The money had been spent on roadworks, stormwater, sewers, platforms and foundations, water reticulation, and some top structures.

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At the council meeting on 31 May it was revealed that R43-million is needed to complete the project, according to the Democratic Alliance human settlements spokesperson and member of the provincial legislature, Marlaine Nair.

She says no more money should be allocated without “a comprehensive report that addresses the project’s progress, challenges, and any potential irregularities”.

When we visited the area last week we found one road tarred for less than 500 metres, and the other roads gravel. The stormwater system was incomplete. Some sewer trenches have been dug. A total of 13 houses were at foundation level. One house was complete.

eThekwini Councillor Zamani Khuzwayo (DA) said the project was 51% complete and the new finishing deadline was December 2024.

Khuzwayo blamed delays on bureaucracy and obtaining the necessary approvals, the relocation of families to temporary housing units, Covid, the 2021 July unrest, and the KZN floods.

Families who were relocated in November 2019 said they were told the project would take 18 months. Three and half years later, they are still sitting in transit camps.

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Community leader Thami Ngidi said residents had been sceptical from the outset. He said out of 500 families, only 311 agreed to be moved.

“Unfortunately the officials managed to convince some of us. We ended up agreeing to be moved,” said Ngidi.