Welcome new Ottery housing

Keith Alfred Adolph, Ottery

I have been reading with keen interest in the Southern Mail of the approved housing development in Edward Road, Ottery (‘New R30m housing development for Ottery’, Southern Mail, June 28).

One can almost feel and taste the high expectations of the residents who will be blessed to move into this new development. Not to dampen anyone’s spirits but history has a cruel way of reminding us of past mistakes and we have to learn from these past mistakes.

I hope that the contractor’s credentials have been checked, where they have done other work, and their track record on quality is not without blemish.

I hope that every phase of the project is checked physically by building inspectors, the relevant councillor, the relevant civic association and by the committee of the new house owners.

This will prevent shoddy workmanship and unnecessary grief and problems. Get this project right please, brick by brick.

* Brett Herron, the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, responds:

Construction of the Edward Street housing project in Ottery will commence soon.

Upon completion, 104 beneficiaries will become first-time homeowners.

These Breaking New Ground (BNG) houses, as with all the other city-wide projects, will become assets for the new homeowners and therefore it is imperative that the standard and quality of the houses delivered to some of our most vulnerable residents complies with applicable legislation.

It is mandatory for BNG houses to be constructed in accordance with building regulations, minimum standards and specifications and in line with the requirements of the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC).

All completed units must be signed off by the provincial building inspector, the City’s building technician and the NHBRC’s inspectors. All units receive a five-year structural warranty from the NHBRC and only units that comply strictly with the standards will be signed off by the NHBRC.

As is protocol with BNG housing, there is a three-month maintenance period after the houses have been handed over and all outstanding snags are handled within this period. Residents need to report outstanding snags to the contractor’s office and the community liaison officer.

There is a formal process for complaints, which requires the complaints to be recorded at the site office so that the contractor can deal with any latent defects.

Once all snags on the houses have been attended to and signed off by the contractor, the City and the provincial government, a final unit report (FUR) is issued by the NHBRC on completion of the house for the individual properties.

Closer to the time, the City officials will inform the beneficiaries of the relevant processes. As with all beneficiaries of
City BNG housing projects, the
Edward Street beneficiaries will also be educated on the responsibilities of
being a homeowner, such as the
importance of having a will and home maintenance, to
ensure that they are prepared for their new journey.