An 84-year-old man from Limpopo is sad that he might meet his ancestors before the government’s promise to build him an RDP house is fulfilled.
The elderly citizen, Alfred Shai, from Dan village in Tzaneen, currently stays in a dilapidated structure with his son.
Shai said that the councillor informed him early this year that his request for an RDP house was approved. He was, however, later surprised when told that the allocation of houses to the beneficiaries had been concluded and that the contractor had already left the area.
“Early this year, a councillor sent a person to tell me that my request for the house was approved. Since May this year, I have been a happy man, knowing that my house was under construction. Last week, I was told that people received their houses.
“When word got around that some locals informed me they would help me expose this issue in the media, two women came to my house to tell me that my RDP house would be built very soon. I wish to live the remainder of my years in a new house,” said Shai.
Lucy Ramoshaba, 58, from Rhulani Village, said she faced a similar situation.
“I am not happy about the way I am being treated. I stay in a shack with more than five children and other family members. When I was told that I would receive the house, I was excited. Little did I know that my house would be given to other people. Everyone knows that I am one of the people who qualified for the RDP house, but I did not get it,” said Ramoshaba.
According to one of the officials who worked closely with the Tzaneen Greater Municipality and the constructors, Shai and Ramoshaba are part of nine beneficiaries who did not receive their houses due to the alleged manipulation of the list of beneficiaries.
“I was one of the people who worked with the councillor during the identification of the beneficiaries. I was so surprised when I noticed that some of the beneficiaries did not receive their houses. When we investigated the matter, we found that the house numbers were allocated to other people instead of the previously identified beneficiaries,” said the official, who asked not to be named.
According to an RDP beneficiary list seen by the publication, four houses from Dan village were allegedly allocated to people who had not been identified, while another four houses were wrongfully allocated in Rhulani village.
According to the list, 20 houses were built in Dan, while another 20 were constructed in Rhulani village.
When contacted for comment, Greater Tzaneen Municipality spokesperson Neville Ndlala first requested “the list of those who did not receive their house as well as a list of those who received the houses.”
“Our investigation reveals that there is a reason why those people did not receive the houses. I therefore advised them to contact the municipality to check why they were excluded. One of the reasons is that some residents were not from indigent backgrounds, as was believed before,” said Ndlala.
The Limpopo Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements, and Traditional Affairs is responsible for housing projects in the province.
A spokesperson for the department, Hitekani Magwedze, had yet to respond to a media inquiry about the alleged rigging of RDP lists.