The inconsistency of the requirement of house planning before extending an RDP house and subletting them to business owners in Nemato’s Ward 9 has has been raised as a matter of concern by resident Bonani Ketiso.
Ketiso described it as a culture of unfairness, and wanted it to receive public exposure.
“There are people here in my Ward 9 who have RDP houses and subletting them for business purposes,” Ketiso said.
He said he was the voice of many silent people who felt the same concerns.
“From what I know the municipality enforces everyone to have a house plan before extending an RDP house, so that should any natural disaster happen it will be able to assist,” he said.
Although he was not willing to mention names because of confidentiality, Ketiso said: “There is one girl whose mother was a beneficiary of the RDP house before she passed away. After the death of her mother the RDP house was transferred under her name and she is subletting the house.
“It is clear that this thing is culture,” he said.
Ketiso said he had researched the issue, looking at several such houses.
Commenting on the poor designs of the building additions, he said: “You can see by the appearance of these houses they have no house plan.”
He was also concerned about rates payments. He said RDP house beneficiaries fell under the indigent policy, meaning they get discounts or exemptions from paying rates. But now that beneficiaries are making money through subletting RDP houses, Ketiso is of the view that they should pay their rates in full.
“I am not against these people making money for themselves but what they do is unfair. They should pay full rates,” he said.
When asked who he thought should be responsible of inspecting extended houses Ketiso responded: “I am not sure, but if someone extends their house there are always inspectors coming from the municipality to ask for a house plan. But I don’t think it’s the councillor’s responsibility,” he said.
Municipal spokesman Cecil Mbolekwa did not respond to a request for comment.