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Abandoned houses a health hazard

2021-07-23  Eveline de Klerk

Abandoned houses a health hazard

HENTIES BAY - Residents of Henties Bay say some of the incomplete low-cost houses at Omdel Extension 7 have become a health and safety hazard, and should be demolished.

The houses in question were constructed during the previous council’s time. A multi-million dollar contract was awarded to Bay Construction in June 2019 for the construction of 100 houses.   

The project was abandoned the same year, with only five houses having been completed so far.

The company is owned by South African businessman Alvin Naidoo, who allegedly abandoned the housing project and skipped the country early last year without paying his sub-contractors after running up debts of millions of dollars. Henties Bay resident Anna Garoes told New Era yesterday that the houses are a danger to their children who play in the area, as well as for those expected to occupy them.

“At least two walls of these houses collapsed already, which casts doubt on the workmanship of some sub-contractors who built these houses,” she said. 

Council last year indicated that they wanted to continue the project by completing the houses. However, Garoes said a proper analysis should be done to see if these houses are indeed safe as they cannot even sell them to residents.

“It is clear that some are substandard and definitely a disaster waiting to happen. The site has been abandoned for almost two years now. There will be fatalities for sure should these walls collapse on the children playing out here,” she added.

Another concerned resident of the town also told New Era that he noticed that the inside walls of some houses are of poor quality, and are about to collapse.  

“It will be best if these houses are decommissioned rather than completed as the municipality could face huge legal actions should these houses collapse while being occupied. It is definitely shoddy workmanship. The contractors should actually be fined for poor workmanship,” he said on condition of anonymity.

Henties Bay mayor Lewies Vermaak said upon enquiry that he is aware of the incomplete houses. 

However, as council they can only recommend to the town’s administrators. 

“We as political leaders can only give recommendations to the chief executive officer (CEO),” he observed.

Meanwhile, questions forwarded to town CEO Elizabeth Coetzee last Thursday had not yet been answered by yesterday afternoon. 

2021-07-23  Eveline de Klerk

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