Latest reports in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality says that the multi-million rand RDP project has turned out to be a horrific death trap as the building is discovered to be badly constructed.
The report says the 162 semidetached double-storey units in NU29, Motherwell which cost about R17-million to build is near collapse and may have to be completely rebuilt.
Among other things, the building has its walls shifting away from the foundation; the wooden staircases and wooden floors between the two storeys both unstable; and valves instead of taps were installed in bathrooms.
Engineers who surveyed the building have warned that residents are unsafe living in the houses and some of the beneficiaries, who moved in between October and December, said they feared for their lives.
Wezekile Maseti, 47, and Nonkululeko Mgudleni, 56, both lament how much their lives were at risk in the building. They said the wooden floors in the bedrooms upstairs are not stable and the doors have huge gaps.
Another resident, Nompumelelo Joyne, 58, said she had even nearly broken her leg and arm when she fell down the loose stairs, while Lee-Ann Constable, 18, said they feared the foundation of their house could not handle a strong wind.
Mgudleni, in fact, noted that she was no longer living in the building as she was already collecting zinc sheets to build herself a shack in her backyard.
“The bedroom ceilings are cracked and there is a visible gap between the walls and the ceilings,” she said.
Meanwhile, heraldlive noted that the metro’s political head of human settlements, Nqaba Bhanga, plans to hold a meeting with the residents today to explain what went wrong with the RDP project.
City Mayor Athol Trollip said they would also be briefed on plans to move them so their houses could be fixed