Housing quality in South Africa
The Cape Times of South Africa reports on September 8, 2014
Poor workmanship on refurbished council-owned flats on the Cape Flats has been highlighted by residents who say homes – built during apartheid – are worse than before.
Despite the complaints, the City of Cape Town says the project in Manenberg is progressing well, with work completed on 432 of the 624 rental units earmarked for interior upgrades.
The tenants, however, have criticised the workmanship by contractors. They say doors keep falling off, windows leak, mould has built up on walls, ventilation vents have been closed and there are problems with electrical wiring.
It is interesting to note that the local government defends the work on the basis of the number of housing units completed. This is similar to the defence provided by the Australian Government when the quality of work on the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing was questioned.
Regardless of continent or government, only when housing ‘quality’ is seen as more important than then housing ‘quantity’ alone, that the health benefits that ensue from a functioning living environment will be achieved and sustained.