Building council to probe Singh family building projects

Building council to probe Singh family building projects

The National Home Builders Registration Council has launched an investigation into allegations of shoddy workmanship by companies owned by Jay Singh's family.

The council said that an independent team of qualified professionals had been sent to investigate all housing projects by Woodglaze Trading and Gralio Precast, which were both owned by Singh's ex-wife, Shireen Annamalay.

The council's chief executive, Mongezi Mnyani, said yesterday that the investigators would also look at the enrolment and compliance of all projects that Woodglaze and Gralio Precast registered with the council. 'A comprehensive report will be finalised by December,' said Mnyani. He said that both companies were registered with the council.

The investigation comes after claims of shoddy workmanship by the companies had resurfaced following the collapse of a Tongaat mall that killed two people.

The mall was being built by Singh's son, Ravi Jagadasan.

Last week, the Phoenix Tenants' and Residents' Association went to court asking for a review of decisions made by the eThekwini municipality regarding the sale of land to Woodglaze that was used for housing developments.

The tenants and residents also claimed that some of the homes had structural defects.

Yesterday the Phoenix association's attorney, Ramesh Luckychund, said that a previous builders registration council report on the defects had been submitted to the court. 'This latest report may just note the deterioration in the buildings,' he said.

Luckychund said that defects included collapsed foundations, cracked walls and broken pillars. Last week, Annamalay admitted that some of the houses had 'construction defects', but said there was no structural damage and there were no safety hazards. Annamalay's other company, Gralio, has landed a multimillion-rand contract to build houses in a low-cost housing project at Cornubia.

The eThekwini municipality tried to remove the company from the project - following allegations made in the Manase Report that projects by the company were substandard and that two housing tenders were irregularly awarded - but it was unsuccessful.

A spokeswoman for the Singh family, Melanie Moodley, of Media54, declined to answer questions yesterday. 'The tenants who spoke to our company... are quite happy living in homes that were built by the developer,' she said.

The case brought by the Phoenix association is back in court tomorrow.

The Mercury


Denny Crane

Denny Crane
It's not me ... yet. Denny Crane from the TV series Boston Legal. Click on picture if you're not sure who he is!