Sinkhole inside RDP home: DA escalates issue to Gauteng Legislature as EMM fails to assist

A resident living in Etwatwa, Ekurhuleni has been living with a sinkhole in his RDP house for the past five years.

Sphiwe Mokwena, approached the DA after both the previous and current local ANC ward councillor and Ekurhuleni Metro failed to assist him, despite reporting the sinkhole in 2010.

A sinkhole formed in the living room of Sphiwe’s RDP house five years ago, forcing him and his family to move out of their home.

Sphiwe’s family was subsequently forced to rent two shacks – one for his parents and one for the children.

In 2010, the Mokwena family reported this issue to the previous local ANC councillor who gave the family cement to cover the hole but this did not resolve the problem.

Since then the family have not heard from the previous councillor and the current councillor, Masele Madihlaba, have also done nothing to assist the Mokwena family despite this issue being covered in the media last year.

The sinkhole now takes up half of the living room and has caused cracks to form in different parts of the house.

Last September (2014/09/26), the issue was reported in the Daily Sun and Ekurhuleni Metro Spokesperson, Themba Gadebe was quoted in the story saying that the municipality would send officials to assess the sinkhole. He stated: “We are determined to assist the Mokwena family. We don’t want any loss of life.”

Yet, more than a year later, Mr Gadebe has failed to deliver on his promise. Officials have not come to assess the sinkhole and the Mokwena family still live in shacks because their home is unsafe to live in.

It is unacceptable that the Ekurhuleni municipality has failed to address this matter over the past five years.

In my capacity as Springs/Daveyton Constituency Head I will be writing to the Ekurhuleni MMC for Human Settlements, Aubrey Nxumalo and request that he provides answers on the following questions:

  1. Why has the municipality failed to fix this problem since the issue was reported in 2010;
  2. What steps will the municipality take to assist the Mokwena family;
  3. Whether a site and soil review was conducted to ensure that the land was suitable to build on prior to the RDP homes being built; and
  4. Are the surrounding RDP homes also at risk of being affected by a similar problem?

Due to the Ekurhuleni Metro failing to properly address this issue for the past five years, I will also write to the MEC for Human Settlements, Jacob Mamabolo in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature asking his department to investigate this issue as a matter of urgency.

It is crucial that the municipality assist the Mokwena family immediately so that they can move back into their home and that officials who have failed to take action over the past five years are held accountable.

Media Enquiries

Ashor Sarupen MPL

DA Springs-Daveyton Constituency Head

076 334 5147