Are housing units without electricity complete? We think not

In May, Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba promised to complete 1 841 housing units that were part of incomplete housing projects by the end of June. The number of incomplete housing projects had “horrified” him, Mashaba said.

When we asked the city in October how many units had been completed by June 30 this year, the mayor’s office said: “The units from Fleurhof are still not completed due to the lack of electricity supply in this section of the development.

“Plans are under way to ensure that the provision of bulk infrastructure will be completed by November to enable allocations of beneficiaries. The units at the Malibongwe Ridge development were also part of the housing units targeted for allocations by [the] end June 2017; all plans are under way to ensure allocation happens before [the] end of October 2017.”

We asked whether this meant that no units had been completed by Mayor Herman Mashaba’s deadline but received no response to this question from the mayor’s office.

On November 24, Buntukazi Xuba of the city’s Housing Department, said the units were considered to be complete. However, her statement is in conflict with the city’s initial response, which says the Fleurhof units “are still not completed”.

In his promise, Mashaba specifically mentioned the failure to provide services as a reason why some units had “stood empty”. And it is clear that this exercise was aimed at completing units to the point where people could take occupation. In this context, the Fleurhof units cannot be considered complete. We, therefore, rate this promise as being kept in part.

Promise outcome: Kept in part