Saturday, May 21, 2011

'Where are our houses?'


ANGRY residents of Marabastad outside Kroonstad in Free State have accused their premier of not keeping his promises.

Residents say a government delegation led by Premier Ace Magashule visited their area last October and promised to build them new houses.
Magashule had apparently told residents he would demolish their "dilapidated" houses and build them "beautiful houses" in no time.

Premier Ace Magashule 
It is now more than seven months later and the promised four-roomed houses are incomplete and there has been no explanation.

Resident Pule Mokoena said he spoke to Magashule, who informed him that he was going to flatten his house and quickly build him a new one.

"He told us that our lives were going to change. I watched when my seven-roomed house, which my parents had left me, was demolished. Today I am still waiting for the premier to keep his promise," said Mokoena.

His new four-roomed house is just a wall without roofing and Mokoena was forced to build a two-roomed shack where his family of three and furniture are now cramped.

"Magashule is a liar who played with our emotions. I am still waiting for him to explain why my new house is incomplete. I have never lived in a shack before," said Mokoena.

Mokoena's neighbour, Dorcas Mokhema, said she was happy when she saw the premier and his entourage in their township.

Her parent's house is also without roofing.
"I thought that he was going to keep his promise. My bed-ridden mother is living in a shack that might collapse anytime. We have not heard from the government and we want Magashule to finish building our houses," Mokhema said.

During Sowetan's visit to the area some houses were completed but were standing unoccupied.
In other yards only the foundations were dug or foundation slabs poured.

Sello Ntozonke, who lives with his elder brother, said though their house was completed earlier this year, they did not have the keys to the house.

Water, electricity and sewer pipes to their house were not connected.
"We don't know what is delaying to occupation of the house. We can't carry on living in a shack while a house in our yard is unoccupied," he said.

Magashule said they were aware of the problem and attributed the delay to heavy rains in the area as well as a lack of funds.

"We are going to finish the project after the elections. In some houses we were delayed by contractors who were connecting sewer pipes to the houses.

"The contractors did a shabby job. We as government promise that after the elections we will complete the houses," he said.

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