Controversy continues to surround BCM’s ongoing housing project in the Fynbos area.
Speaking to the GO! & Express, Friends of Schalk spokesperson Claretta Slater said the organisation had been fighting the municipality over the matter due to BCM’s poor performance.
“There’s about 200 of what we call ‘fridges’ – temporary structures – in the Fynbos area,” Slater said.
According to Slater, BCM began erecting the structures on two local sports fields which drew the ire of community members.
“BCM did not consult communities, they simply came and put their structures up on the sports field.
“We’ve asked for the zoning papers, environmental impact assessments, traffic flow studies and so forth but BCM has not given us anything back.”
After BCM had erected the first set of temporary structures on one of the sports fields, Friends of Schalk took the municipality to court and managed to get a court order which said BCM would have to relocate the structures after two years.
“Across from that same field, BCM was in the process of putting an additional 80 structures on another sport field,” Slater said. “We got a court order to stop them.”
Another complaint was the poor state of service delivery being provided to the temporary residents.
“There was constantly running water, a huge waste,” Slater said.
While communal toilets have been installed, many are broken and sewerage runs in the gutters through the temporary settlement.
The situation is so bad that the SA Human Rights Council has launched an investigation into BCM’s handling of the matter.
As previously reported by the GO! & Express, human settlements minister Lindiwe Sisulu said in October last year that 45 of the 72 housing projects in BCM were classified as “running”.
She said that the poor implentation of the projects was due to a number of factors, these included:
- Lack of integrated planning between the provincial and municipal government
- Delays in electricity connection and beneficiary verification
- Untraceable beneficiaries
- Poor performance of contractors, and
- Ongoing illegal occupation of housing units
BCM had not responded to questions by the time of going to print.