Housing Corruption: DA calls on inspectors to undergo lifestyle audits

Issued by Luyolo Mphithi MP – DA Shadow Minister of Human Settlements
12 May 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Luyolo Mphithi MP. Please see the photos of the substandard houses here, here and here.

The DA has been inundated with concerns from the beneficiaries at the Lufhereng Mega and Fleurhof housing project in Soweto regarding allegations of corruption between building inspectors and contractors. Many houses that were received by beneficiaries have already deteriorated, leaving them with substandard and hazardous houses.

What is happening with this project is just one instance of what is happening across South Africa where housing beneficiaries have received deficient houses because of alleged schemes between building contractors and inspectors – where houses pass the test of compliance by inspectors although they are not compliant with building standards.

This, coupled with the lack of visibility of building inspectors, especially in rural areas, has increased the corrupt network affecting building projects.

The DA urges the Department of Human Settlement to ensure closer monitoring as their unwillingness to oversee implementation of projects and only relying on desktop monitoring leads to a syndicate of bribery.

Housing inspectors are there to assist home builders, through training and inspection, to achieve and maintain satisfactory technical standards of home building. The National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) inspectors do quality assurance regarding the home builders’ compliance with the requirements specified in the SANS 10400 and 2001 regulations.

By implication, the process of quality assurance seeks to ensure that the builder complies with the technical documentation that was prepared to construct the residential unit. The NHBRC quality assurance inspectors, therefore, play a crucial role in business by ensuring that housing products meet certain thresholds of acceptability during the following key stages of construction.

The DA calls on the NHBRC to implement lifestyle audits on all its housing inspectors to put an end to builders who get away with prescribing low-quality of building materials to be used within the home building environment as building contractors exploit this gap currently and use cheap materials to reduce building cost. The use of substandard building materials is inevitably followed by the production of shoddy and undurable houses