PRETORIA – Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is probing claims of a housing scandal in Pretoria where almost R85 million was reportedly spent on building a hostel project in 2006.
Seven years later, the building stands empty.
Many residents had been waiting to be allocated apartments promised to them at the hostel project.
However, the 104 apartments stand empty because they have not met building regulation standards.
The IFP is convinced that corrupt councillors are to blame for the empty, incomplete units.
Inkatha Freedom Party’s Alvin Madela said: “Last year the municipality decided to withdraw the security that was looking after this property, in a week’s time the houses were vandalised, windows broken, doors removed, geysers removed." He added that they decided not to fold their arms and approached the Public Protector to look into the problem.
The City of Tshwane municipality hit back, saying the project was a joint venture between the Gauteng Housing Department and the municipality.
“We asked why people hadn’t moved in, they said we (are) looking for extra cash for a fence to fix up the mess. We said before we do that, let’s go and find out why didn’t someone put the puzzle together,” said City of Tshwane spokesperson Blessing Manale.
“If corruption is happening, it’s not happening on behalf of councillors of the ruling party,” he added.
The office of the Public Protector said investigations were at an advanced stage.