Minister Sisulu makes changes at Housing Agency following Tzaneen shack debacle

SABC News Talana Limpopo Government - Minister Sisulu makes changes at Housing Agency following Tzaneen shack debacle

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has made some changes at the department’s Housing Development Agency.

The agency, which oversees the construction of houses by government, was in the news for building shacks worth R2.4 million to hostel dwellers in Tzaneen, Limpopo.

Uproar over Limpopo housing project in Talana outside Tzaneen:

The agency’s acting CEO Mikki Xayiya and the chief financial officer, Brian Mosehla, have been removed from their positions.

40 shacks were built for some hostel dwellers at Talana, Tzaneen. It was part of relief for COVID-19.

The dwellers have expressed concerns about the workmanship. They say the shacks leak when it rains, and the boards used as insulators inside are detaching from the walls. Some have used plastic to cover the doors and walls to stop the leaks.

The 40 units were constructed at the cost of R64 000 each. One of the shack dwellers, Conny Frost, says the living conditions in the shacks are bad.

“The conditions when I’m living here are very bad. I just cover my door with plastic. I think it’s going to be better because it is not closing, the rain has damaged my door; when I go to work I’m leaving my door like that.”

Another resident, Private Moagi, wants government to build them low-cost houses.

“These shacks are very hot inside; you cannot be inside during the day. When it rains, the shacks leak as well. The boards used inside are also getting detached from the walls.”

Senior officials not fired

The Human Settlements department, however, says the senior officials were not fired.

Two arrested for corruption related to the shack project:

Spokesperson Steve Motale says the former acting chief executive, Xayiya, returns to his role as a board member, while Mosehla’s contract has elapsed and was not renewed.

Motale says the action is not related to the multi-million rand Talana shack project.

Meanwhile, some members of the bid evaluation committee and business people, who were arrested for the alleged fraud and corruption, will appear in court again at the end of March.

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