A Cape municipality has been accused of fraud after people discovered that RDP houses were registered in their names 10 years ago, but they were never informed about it.
Instead, other people are living in “their” homes, but the Theewaterskloof Municipality is claiming the home owners “signed their homes away”.
Nadia de Beer of Caledon says she found out a few months ago that she was a beneficiary of a housing development in Nuwe Rust, Caledon (also known as Voeltjiedorp).
“Other people who are also part of the project told me the title and deed registered in my name is at the attorney’s office,” says Nadia.
After collecting the deed, which shows the house in Tarentaal Straat was registered in her name in 2006, Nadia made enquiries at Theewaterskloof Municipality but was told she had signed a letter stating she wishes to withdraw from the project.
Brendell Swart says the same happened to him.
But both deny ever doing this.
“They gave me a letter with a signature that looks like mine but I never signed anything to say I don’t want the house anymore,” claims Brendell.
Nadia remembers signing a document, “but they told me it was to get extra funding for the house”, she explains.
Hugo Geldenhuys, spokesperson for Theewaterskloof Municipality, says both Brendell and Nadia were part of 30 beneficiaries whose employer applied for bigger houses to be built for their workers.
This initiative fell through when most beneficiaries couldn’t afford the R15 000 extra for the bigger houses.
The subsidy was later increased, meaning beneficiaries only had to pay R5 000 extra.
“Despite this, 22 beneficiaries withdrew from the project and were replaced with other beneficiaries,” adds Geldenhuys.
He explains that the houses were wrongly registered in the names of those who allegedly withdrew from the project but that the municipality is busy correcting this.
Geldenhuys adds: “We are applying for new subsidies for those who withdrew from the project because they still have a need for housing.”
Nadia says she has no beef with the people living in “her” house.
“My fight is with the municipality. I want my house because I’m scared I won’t be approved for another house,” she says.
Zelna October, who lives in the house registered in Nadia’s name, was shocked when Daily Voice informed her about the developments.
“I heard people were living in houses belonging to other people but I never knew I was one of them. But this isn’t my fight. The municipality must provide answers,” says Zelna.