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HousiHousing shortages in South Africa leads to risky construction practicesng shortages in South Africa leads to risky construction practices

Due to housing shortage in South Africa, Entrepreneurs are making massive proceeds by buying Reconstruction and Development Programme(RDP) houses; flattening them to the ground and building blocks of flats soaring  above adjacent houses and backyard shacks in Dunoon township near Milnerton.

The safety of the multi-storey residencial houses ruling the township skyline is being subjected to questions by inhabitants.

Some RDP houses are being extended into a chain of single room flats off a middle corridor with communal baths. In some instances a single storey is added on the top to make more rooms.

One capitalist has set a new style. After buying an RDP house, he bulldozes it and is constructing a four-storey block of flats to lease it is the first four-storey apartment block in the town.

Plot dweller Erick Mzingile, whose shack is in the backyard of an RDP house adjacent  to the multi-storey apartment building, said he was stunned to see the elevation of the building.

Mzingile said the building creates a high risk to tenants should a fire break out. “We don’t know if it will stand harsh weather. We didn’t see building inspectors. We just saw it taking form,” he said.

Efforts to get in touch with the entrepreneur were unproductive.

Ward 104 councilor Lubabalo Makeleni said while he supported property investment in the town, “investors should prioritize the safety and security of our citizens and not be gluttonous by taking advantage of our community”. He blamed the City of Cape of failing to regulate “unlawful building structures in our region. Instead they center on well off suburbs”.

Makeleni said the lack of housing prospects led to the escalating of multi-storey blocks of flats.

“Our people are frantic for housing and prepared to pay any sum towards rental without checking their safety and security,” he said.

The demand for housing has also led to RDP house prices rising. “Within a year the price of RDP houses leaped from R120,000 to R200,000, which is absurd to our community as most purchasers are foreigners and white people,” Makeleni said.

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