Defective homes built by the beleaguered CTCHC will be repaired within the next seven months, Housing MEC Richard Dyantyi promised infuriated residents.
Dyantyi met with the irate home owners on Sunday to discuss the housing crisis in the seven areas that the Cape Town Housing Company(CTCHC) is responsible for.
"We acknowledge that there are problems people have with the houses.
"All of them were investigated when the independent forensic engineering audit was conducted. There are real problems to be dealt with and the government has to do something."
The CTCHC, in partnership with the city, built the houses in 1997 in a bid to stem the growing housing problem in the province.
Residents in Hanover Park, Heideveld, Manenberg and Philippi, among others, were enraged soon after cracks started appearing in the walls of the newly built houses. Among other things, water had also started pouring in through the roofs.
Dyantyi assured the cynical residents over the weekend that the matter will be resolved swiftly following an independent audit, which residents also said was flawed.
He also assured the restless crowd that the city had committed R45 million to repairing the problems.
Initially, the city was only willing to offer R36 million to repair structural defects.
"We could have built 250 houses for people who don't have homes, but we have to fix these houses."
Michael Ralo, CTCHC spokesperson, says they are "considering reimbursement" to those who had their homes repaired privately.
"In cases where genuine defects were repaired, we will look at repaying them."
The city also recently announced it would sell its shares, sparking fears by residents that their rates and rentals would increase. Ralo says complaints of increased instalments by the home owners are not true. "If the owner skips payments, the arrears will cause an increase in the amount the owner will pay monthly. We never increased the instalment."
Seth Maqetuka, director of strategy, coordination and support in the housing directorate, says the city is not cutting all ties with the CTCHC.
"The city will still serve on the board of the company. They withdrew because it was more of a compliancy issue and it was a decision taken by council."
Gary Hartzenberg, chairperson of the Newfields Village Representative Committee, says he is "satisfied but still sceptical".
"Sometimes these people make promises and commitments, but don't see it through. So we will have to see if they keep to their word."
He says containers will be deposited on Thursday and the project to restore the homes is set to start on Monday.
"I would like to see local labour also involved as I am the community liaison officer. Even doing small jobs like mixing cement or something similar would still be welcomed as it would empower the people and be good for job creation."
"If residents can be involved in working on their own houses, it would make a vast difference.
"They should allow our people to be part of it. This will be a great opportunity as we've started taking charge of our own destiny and have shown that the community works together and should come first."