KOUGA Municipality building inspectors have made the news this year for all the wrong reasons.
One of the most damning accusations is that some of them have accepted bribes from property developers to prematurely issue occupation certificates. These developers, who are said to be eager to get back their deposits from the municipality, need an occupation certificate before the property can be transferred to new buyers.
Our Times recently published the ongoing saga of Tony and Laverne de Paiva, owners of various units in the 11 Diaz Street complex in Jeffreys Bay, who are concerned about their safety because of alleged shortcuts taken by the property developer.
They are contemplating taking legal action. The question remains however, why was an occupancy certificate issued?
Now Gamtoos River mouth resident, Ben van Deventer has decided to speak out and is questioning the value that the Kouga local municipality brings to society. He says he has been struggling to get answers from them since 2005, when he questioned the work done by inspectors of the municipality when he built a two-bedroom pensioner's cottage at the Gamtoos river mouth resort. He says inspectors duly issued a certificate of occupancy which set him back R900.
However, he gave Our Times a list of problems that they were supposed to have identified. An electric switch for the main bedroom was placed inside a built-in wardrobe, one of the switches on the electrical distribution board is rated higher than the distribution box in the street and an electrical light fitting came loose, nearly decapitating his wife. A civil and structural engineer, after inspecting the roof, found that cladding was not properly installed which is causing a leak when it rains and the ceilings were sagging because of wrong battens and spacing.
Van Deventer says: "The whole drainage system clogged up and it was found that only one layer of stones, instead of a large truck load of stones were found in the soak away.”
When he complained to the municipality, their inspector, a certain G van Rensburg, told him the municipality was not responsible because the inspectors at the time were "contracted out”.