All is not well at Matimba Flats in Mamelodi East

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By Dimakatso Modipa

Residents of Matimba flats in Mamelodi east getting water from the water tanker
Residents of Matimba flats in Mamelodi east getting water from the water tanker

This as residents there complained to Tshwane Talks last week about poor living conditions that they have to deal with on a daily basis there.

The flats consist of RDP houses which were built by the Gauteng Department of Housing for residents of Tshwane who had been on the City of Tshwane’s housing waiting list for numerous years.

The flats remained unoccupied for a long time after construction was completed and this led to some residents of Mamelodi occupying them illegally in 2019, saying they were homeless too and since the flats were unoccupied, it was their right to occupy them.

However, the illegal occupants were evicted from the flats around 27 and 28 January 2020 by the infamous Red Ants security company after a long standoff.

The Red Ants had been hired by the City of Tshwane to remove the illegal occupants.

Rightful beneficiaries of the housing units were then allowed to occupy their homes immediately thereafter.

Upon occupation of the housing units, the rightful beneficiaries say they noticed that the illegal occupants had deliberately damaged some items in the housing units.

This out of anger when they realised that they were eventually going to be kicked out of the flats.

But the beneficiaries also noticed that there were structural defects, which are a result of shoddy workmanship by Vharanani construction company.

On top of this, the residents are not satisfied about service delivery there.

Construction of Matimba Flats is actually only 80 percent complete.

“We have been asking the City of Tshwane and the Gauteng Department of Housing to complete the remaining 20 percent since 2020 without success,” said the leader of Matimba Flats residents Champion Phiri.

“Our councillor Collen Marishane also knows about our problems, but he has done nothing to help.

When we started experiencing blue water coming out of our kitchen taps last year in October, Marishane strangely concluded that the cause of that were the products used by homeowners when flushing their toilet cisterns.

Presently we do not have tap water inside our houses and have to rely on water hydrants which are often out of order and don’t produce any water,” he explained.

Councillor Marishane had not responded to Tshwane Talks’ query at the time of publication of this story.

The City of Tshwane then resorted to sending water tankers to provide us with water.

In principle we are opposed to water tankers as we doubt whether such water is fit for human consumption.

Another factor is that we fear that the municipality will rely on the water tankers as a permanent solution to our water crisis and ignore our demand for potable water inside our own households,” lamented Phiri.

Phiri also revealed that the Department of Social Development’s standards were not used when allocating housing units to beneficiaries.

In many instances one finds that the elderly, infirm and disabled people have been allocated housing units that are at the top floor of the flats.

This means they have to use stairs when they want to leave or enter their homes,” he said.

“Our problems are many here,” chipped in Mothobi Ramaditsi, who is a pastor by profession.

There is no soundproof inside the housing units and this means there is no privacy as next-door Neighbours can easily hear what their Neighbours are doing.

The tiles on the roof of the housing units fly off whenever there is heavy rain or wind.

Windows also fall down at any time.

There are no water gutters and when it rains some balconies get flooded.

Community leader Matimba flats Champion Phiri
Community leader Matimba flats Champion Phiri

Doors do not fit well and there are no handrails on the edges of the stairs so that they can be used by children, the elderly, the infirm and the disabled.

“I personally fixed my rooftop, which was leaking.

Now how are those who don’t have an income going to fix their leaking roofs?” complained Ramaditsi.

We were told by the City of Tshwane that it would ask for R13 million from the Gauteng Department of Housing in order to complete the remaining 20 percent of construction as well as repairing damages and fixing structural defects at Matimba Flats, but nothing has happened in this regard.

We appreciate the government’s efforts in giving us houses, but this must not be in an indecent manner like it is at the moment,” said Phiri as a parting shot.

City of Tshwane spokesperson Lindela Mashigo indicated that the Matimba Flats project is now in the hands of the Gauteng Human Settlements Department.

The Gauteng Human Settlements Department spokesperson Sthembiso Mkhize has admitted that the Matimba Flats project is their responsibility now and that the issue of structural defects and completion of the outstanding construction work will be tackled in the new financial year which starts in April this year.

1 thought on “All is not well at Matimba Flats in Mamelodi East”

  1. It’s true Matimba flats is a disaster units bcous when it’s rain we can’t sleep im the victim we don’t have a roof but they say the roof is 100% ,our life is in danger

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