Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

In response to parliamentary inquiries by DA MP Ntombi Khumalo, Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi disclosed that a total of 320 stalled and incomplete housing projects have been revived, with allocated funds for their completion.

Minister Kubayi, addressing the challenges posed by a significant number of abandoned housing projects due to contractor non-performance, emphasized that unblocking these projects was a priority upon assuming the human settlements portfolio in 2021. The projects in question were identified as those lacking progress for a consecutive 12-month period following the initial payment to the contractor, encompassing serviced sites and houses at various stages of construction.

Having directed her department, along with sector partners including provincial departments and municipalities, to address these issues over a three-year period spanning 2022-23 to 2024-25, Minister Kubayi reported that all provinces collectively pinpointed 320 blocked and incomplete projects in their 2023-24 business plans, subsequently approved with the necessary budget.

Various factors contributing to project blocking were identified by the minister, including illegal land occupations, geotechnical variations, construction mafias, community unrest, escalating material costs, insufficient bulk infrastructure, and poor contractor performance.

The minister outlined ongoing efforts to monitor and support project progress through physical site visits and quarterly performance reviews at provincial, municipal, and human settlement entity levels. Furthermore, the department encouraged sector partners to establish mechanisms fostering the development, empowerment, and support of small, medium, and micro-enterprises.

Municipalities and provincial departments were also urged to strengthen service level agreements and contracts, ensuring penalties and consequences for non-performing contractors, with termination of contracts considered as a last resort.

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