South Africa: RDP Houses Left Incomplete for Eight Years

Kanana Park residents in Johannesburg have had to finish construction at their own cost if they can afford it

  • An RDP housing project in Kanana Park, Johannesburg, ground to a halt eight years ago.
  • The homeowners have been left to complete the construction of their homes at their own expense.
  • The mayor’s office and the City’s human settlement department, which is the implementing agent, ignored GroundUp’s requests for comment.

Beneficiaries of an RDP housing project in Kanana Park, 30km south of Johannesburg, have been left with incomplete houses for eight years. The homeowners, mostly former backyarders, say they have had to finish construction at their own expense. But not all owners can afford to cover the costs. Some beneficiaries only received concrete slabs with no top structures.

Although already in progress, the project was “unveiled” in 2012 by then President Jacob Zuma, promising 3,101 houses: 1,793 government subsidised units (RDP), 756 social rental units, and 552 bonded units.

The Kanana Park Housing Development was a project of the City of Johannesburg and subsidised by the Gauteng province.

“It was the first time that a president came here, and I guess it will never happen again. We were promised this area would be developed and have shopping centres and parks, but that never happened,” said community leader Elizabeth Polisi.

Her daughter’s house was never completed and is now abandoned. She now lives with Polisi.

She said government officials do visit the area to see the nonexistent progress but nothing ever comes of these inspections.