Human Settlement Department promises to resolve asbestos roofs saga in Free State – SABC News
Human Settlement Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi says the problem of asbestos roofs in the Free State will be resolved soon. She says they will focus on solutions to problems and not on what happened in the past.
Kubayi is on a visit to the province where she evaluates the progress of the completion of housing.
The minister added that her department is aware of defects in new-build homes.
Cracked walls, leaking roofs and collapsing ceilings are just some of the challenges residents of the new homes at Hillside Extension in Mangaung are experiencing.
Residents, including military veterans, were dissatisfied with the condition of their homes less than a year after they moved in.
One of the military veterans, Parks Ditsebe, says: “The foundation is not good from the start. The ground on which these houses are built is not good. There should have been a foundation so thick that you could build a house, unlike this. You can’t build a house, and within three months it was cracked.”
Other residents echoed the same sentiments.
“These people are not on our business, because we are full of leaks in the houses, our toilets are not working properly. There’s a lot going on in the house,” complains one of the residents.
“I’m not happy with the cracks in the house. The other stuff… the taps, you only use it for two to three months, it doesn’t work anymore.”
Plans to accelerate the replacement of asbestos roofs in Free State:
The Department of Human Settlement says it has consulted with the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC), which is responsible for certifying homes for occupancy.
Minister Kubayi says the backlog in allocating homes to military veterans will also be addressed.
Mangaung residents, who still live in houses with asbestos roofs, say their health is at risk.
Removing asbestos roofs has been central to corruption allegations.
Suspended ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule and ten other accused and five companies are charged with fraud, corruption and money laundering.
The costs relate to the 2014 asbestos roof removal contract of R255 million.
Minister Kubayi says her department will not interfere in the ongoing lawsuit.
She says her job is to find a solution to the problem and they have agreed on the resource allocation process.
“I want to say to the people of the Free State: we have not forgotten them. The fact that there is a lawsuit – we know they have nothing to do with it – is our duty to them. Because the constitution guarantees them a good reception as part of their fundamental rights. So we make sure we can tackle it. I don’t want to say how much we need now. What we have decided is that those people deserve our service. Law enforcement will deal with law enforcement issues.”