The Kgetleng municipality run by the ANC has been accused by poor residents of a depleting North West township of deliberately denying them the benefit of getting their own RDP houses because they have not paid bribes to the officials.
Victims and witnesses have confirmed the allegations to be true as Sarah Lekabe and Itumeleng Kiwiet, who are neighbors on the same street in Redirile, Derby, say a ward committee member George Seolwane demanded a R1000 bribe to have the RDP houses built in their yards even after the government has approved the project.
Kiwiet lives in his late mother’s dilapidated shack and was filled with joy when the news came that he was going to stay in a real house when foundation trenches of the RDP house was dug in his yard in 2013.
“I registered for an RDP house in 2012 on behalf of my mother after we [in the township] were all told to do so. In 2013, I was happy when people arrived in my yard and told me that a house was going to be built.
“They started digging foundation trenches where the structure was going to be erected. However, Seolwane arrived and demanded R1000 if I wanted a house to be built (sic). I refused to pay him because I didn’t have the money he demanded. The workers later arrived and filled up the trenches with soil,” he said.
Lekabe however, lamented that bricks and other building materials were brought to her yard for the RDP house to be built only for them to be taken away after she was told that Seolwane was demanding R1000.
“I’m hurt and feel betrayed by the government I have voted for. My yard was on the list for a house to be built,” Lekabe said.
I went to our Councillor, Reuben Zwide, who told me to build my own house if I had money. There are only two yards that were skipped here on our street.”
Still on the issue of bribery and corruption, another resident on the same street Maria Tshipeta, said she paid Seolwane R2000 in 2000 to secure the stand where her family’s RDP house was built.
“I paid him in cash and he didn’t give me a receipt as proof of payment. In 2012, I registered for an RDP house and it was built,” she said.
The government may not be aware of this exploitation and infringement on the rights of its citizens, so we hope that this gets to the right sources so that proper investigation will be conducted on the matter and corrective measures put in place. Something has to be done quickly as some people actually depend on these RDP houses to live a normal life.