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22 August 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha
The Public Protector’s office in South Africa is to investigate allegations of corruption regarding the award of tenders for government housing.
Residents in Limpopo province have already made 300 complaints over the government’s reconstruction and development programme (RDP) housing project. The RDP housing project aims to provide basic quality low-cost housing, replacing all shacks in the country.
Among the claims made were that tenders were awarded inappropriately, some suppliers have been unfairly blacklisted and construction has been sub-standard, using inferior materials. Some residents have claimed contractors forced them to sign “happy letters”, which claimed projects had been completed to specification even if they had not.
Earlier this month the public protector Thuli Madonsela called for the punishment of “incompetent contractors”, saying there should be repercussions for those who failed to deliver.
“When it comes to repairing structurally defective homes, the government always steps in with more resources while the contractor lives happily ever after and continues to get more tenders,” she said in a statement.
Following a series of meetings in towns and cities in the province, Madonsela is to work closely with provincial authorities to resolve the issues.