Elderly still wait for homes

2012-02-25 00:00

HOW much longer must a 103-year-old gogo wait for her house?

Alvina Dladla, who lives in Imbali Unit BB, (EE section) was lucky that her property had an outhouse into which she could move when she was advised to demolish her “wire-wall” RDP home. That dilapidated outhouse has been her home for the past two years.

Wire-wall RDP houses were demolished in the area because they were considered unsuitable and they were supposed to be replaced with block-built houses.

When the Department of Human Settlement deemed their homes unsuitable, it advised their occupants to vacate them on the understanding that it would be temporary.

However, so far “temporary” has meant more than two years.

Last year, the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) and the community of Imbali Unit 13 demanded that Premier Zweli Mkhize remove the then Human Settlement MEC Maggie Govender for failing to provide houses in Imbali.

Dladla said: “What makes me angry is that RDP houses are provided for young people and pensioners like us are neglected.”

She said she cries to God because she has realised that people do not care about the plight of old people.

If they did, they would not let them live in the conditions she has to endure.

“My clothes and bedding are constantly wet because this old house leaks when it rains, especially now as it is the rainy season.

“When I get sick, I always pray that I will not die because I do not want people to come to my funeral to see such living conditions.”

Dladla’s neighbour, Philisile Madlala, did not take the advice or obey the instruction to demolish.

Dladla said: “I decided not to demolish my house and I am grateful that I did not heed the call as I would have had to rent now.

“I am unemployed and I wouldn’t have been able to afford rent.”

Less fortunate is a former neighbour of the two, Dolly Khanyile (70), who accepted the advice and let her wire-wall house go, but had no outhouse on her property.

All she could do was to move into her daughter’s crowded house.

A replacement for her house went up in the meantime, but it has never been finished.

“I have lost my furniture and clothing because I kept my goods in my property, but they have stolen everything,” she said.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Brian Zuma said the backlog in Msunduzi must be seen in a broader context of housing delivery nationally.

He said: “In our case, it is about 40 000 units including informal settlements.

He said a long process of identifying land, conducting the environmental impact assessment, identifying beneficiaries, designing the project, had to unfold before funding is sought.

“Then there is the issue of bulk services, which must be sourced through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant. It is a long process.”

Acting spokesperson for the provincial Human Settlement Department, Sureshinee Govender, said the revitalisation of the wirewall project is one of the priorities of MEC Ravi Pillay.

“The MEC visited the project in December together with the leadership of the local municipality.

“The Department of Human Settlements has secured additional funding to get the project back on track,” Govender said.

She said a technical team was currently busy dealing with inspections and the reconciliation of the outstanding work.

“The head of department has met with the contractors to look at outstanding issues. We are confident that we will bring relief to the residents very shortly,” she added.

She said only three contracts had been cancelled this year due to non-delivery, and therefore it is not true to say that projects are not being monitored.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

Photo:

Gogo Dolly Khanyile (70). Behind is her incomplete RDP house, which has stood like this for two years.

THERE are 447 projects in KwaZulu- Natal, according to the provincial Human Settlements Department.

All these projects are on track.

There are three projects that are in the pipeline, 78 others are already in the planning stage, 11 projects are awaiting the installation of bulk services and 115 projects are under construction.

Twenty projects are ready for transfers and 170 projects are at close out stage, ready for handover to the recipients. There are five rectification projects.

In the Midlands area there are 69 projects under various stages of construction which will see over 76 000 houses being built.

There were one or two that were blocked, with the wirewall project being one of them.

This project has now been unblocked.

In his state of the province address, Premier Zweli Mkhize said there was a slowdown in the delivery of houses, totalling 21 500 units, and some money was returned last year.

This year a target of 43 000 houses had been set.

All 447 projects

on track in KZN

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