Prospective black homeowners in Vaal are having a raw deal with Sphinx Hardware which is duping them their hard earned cash.
Sphinx, an Indian owned shop operating in Vereeniging at 68 Voortrekkers Road has left many Vaal families shattered after pocketing payments for building material which they never delivered.
Apart from charging exorbitant prices for building material, Sphinx has a tendency of delivering inadequate goods.
Hopes to own a home by a black family in Vaaloewer are going up in smoke after Sphinx refused to supply the correct amount of building sand which was paid for.
Efforts by the family to recoup their building material was met with threats of legal action.
Instead of reimbursing the family their building material, Shop Manager Mohammed Eied wrote a message to them saying: “My lawyers are busy with you as you are threatening us and encouraging people to loot shops and insulting us.” He also threatened unspecified actions against the family.
This followed after the family turned to the Sedibeng EFF leadership to help them recover the building material from Sphinx shop which is owned by Baher Eldamsy.
The black family’s ordeal started on 3 September when they paid Sphinx R14780 to deliver a couple of building materials to their site. Eldamsy’s shop also charged the family R1500 for transport to Vaaloewer. The goods were supposed to have been delivered on 9 September, but Sphinx failed to ship the goods to the site as they engaged in fights over payments with drivers, they subcontracted to transport the building material. Instead of paying R400 a load Sphinx gave drivers R250 which compelled them to withdraw their services.
A Sphinx employee, Palesa then called the family demanding a top up on transport funds. In the meantime, the family was incurring daily expenses on builders who they had to pay while waiting for material to be supplied.
“Two builders and their two assistants are costing us R720 a day as Sphinx clings to our transport money,” said a family representative who prefers to remain anonymous.
Last Wednesday, sphinx paid back R1000 to the family and apologized. On taking stock of the building material which were delivered on Thursday, builders realised that some Mesh wire, building and plastering sand were missing.
Under intense pressure, Sphinx refunded again another R980 for two rolls of Mesh wire which was paid for but never delivered as it was out of stock.
“Yes there is a problem, we will be giving your refund to your assistant which she said she is on her way, sorry for the bad experience you had with us and we understand it was very inconvenience you. Sorry and have a lovely day further,” said Vani, who is one of the sales lady.
Baher’s shop however refused to refund money for three cubes of Sand which were paid for and never delivered.
Speaking from Egypt where he is on vacation. Mohammed Eied instructed his subordinates at the shop to replace the outstanding three cubes of sand with half a cube. No explanation was given for such an irrational decision.
Meanwhile the aggrieved family is appealing to all other people who were cheated by Sphinx to come out in the open and jointly demand their dues from the building material supplier.
“I don’t wish even my worst enemies to be subjected to the ugly treatment I was given by Sphinx. Vaal residents who are engaging in any building project must just stay away from Sphinx. These guys are heartless. They will stop at nothing in trying to crook you, said a family representative.
Sphinx prices are so exorbitant. A roll of Mesh wire which is going for R68 in other shops are being sold for R490 by Sphinx. Face-brick at Sphinx is charged R4.10 each while other shops are selling each for R2.30