Complaints fall on deaf ears, say residents

Montclair Phase 5 Ratepayers Association treasurer, Mavuso Mbidlana, chairman Hudson Gxabashe and secretary, Siyambonga Matshawule.

First-time homeowners at a Montclair housing development are at their wits’ end after their list of complaints about poor workmanship has fallen on deaf ears.

Executive members of Montclair Phase 5 Ratepayers’ Association met with the Plainsman on Friday November 8 after they had sent several emails to complain and ask to meet with property developer, Nation Housing.

Individual residents have also sought legal counsel to hold the developer accountable and ask for clarity on the resolution of their complaints.

They complained about mould on their walls, floors and ceilings; they showed a video of water raining down on them through their ceiling; a stove top that kept tripping; cracks in their walls; unsealed window panels resulting in water seepage and mould; and water seeping into their houses when it rains, through the bottom of their front doors.

“I have complained several times,” said association secretary, Siyambonga Matshawule.

Mr Matshawule said within the first six months he had submitted retention forms to Nation Housing. “They send someone to assess the problems but no one comes back to fix the problem.”

He submitted more than two retention forms.

Just further down the road, Samantha Mkhwananzi, who also moved in about a year ago, showed a video of water raining into her two-bedroom house. The insurance said that the plumber had failed to put on a clamp, which could have prevented a pipe burst in her ceiling. Her stove also kept tripping.

“The house was full of water. My lounge and kitchen were flooded. My cupboards and stove top were affected.”

Association chairman Hudson Gxabashe, who had been living in the development for about five years, said there are complaints of about 80% of the houses.

He said residents met in June and established the association to deal with issues but have since been flooded with complaints.

“We have sent them (Nation Housing) emails, introducing ourselves to them and requested a meeting with the big bosses but to no avail,” Mr Gxabashe said.

Mr Gxabashe said they had also spoken to Sub-council 23 manager, Raphael Martin, who sent an email to Nation Housing on Friday November 1 and has yet to receive a response.

The Plainsman emailed Nation Housing, asking them whether they were aware of the residents’ complaints; what the procedure was to be followed to lodge complaints once they moved into the houses and if the properties had five-year- guarantees, what it meant and covered.

Nation Housing marketing manager, Paul Winter, said they have confirmed with their retentions department that all Montclair retentions have been carried out.

However, the Montclair Phase 5 Ratepayers’ Association said their list of complaints has not been attended to.

Nation Housing is due to unveil another development in Westridge. The Plainsman asked for more details on this but the company didn’t respond by the time this edition went to print.