Elderly feel let down by ruling party

2016-08-03 06:00
MALEFA MOLOTSANA (63) still lives in her rundown shack while her incomplete RDP house disintegrates from neglect. Photos: Selloane Khalane

MALEFA MOLOTSANA (63) still lives in her rundown shack while her incomplete RDP house disintegrates from neglect. Photos: Selloane Khalane

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THE elderly Matsola Phelanehas to place several buckets inside her rusty, leaking shack to keep the cold winter rain from flooding her floor.

In front of her shack is the incomplete structure of an RDP house that was built in 1995 in Extension 6, Clocolan.

Phelane (79) says that for 20 years, the structure has been left without a roof and windows despite pleas from her family to both the Free State provincial government and the Setsoto Municipality to complete the house.

Phelane is one of several elderly residents of Extension 6 who have been left with incomplete RDP houses. Marred with cracks and holes, the walls of the RDP houses are starting to disintegrate from years of neglect.

With little hope in her pale grey eyes, Phelane scuffles around to find another bucket for a new leak seeping into her battered shack.

“I do not want to die in a shack. They left me with empty promises,” Phelane says with a tint of bitterness.

She says in October 2014, Free State Premier Ace Magashule urged government officials to complete her RDP house and she was hopeful that, by Christmas that year, she would be staying in the house.

Phelane says an Operation Hlasela tour had led the premier to her doorstep.

So disgruntled is Phelane that she states clearly she will abstain from voting during the local municipal election.

“I will not vote,” says Phelane, who feels betrayed by the ruling party. “I have been loyal to the ANC all my life, but it has not kept its promises,” she says.

A few streets away from Phelane’s home is another RDP house, also left incomplete.

Maleta Molotsana (63) hunches over an open fire in her rundown shack. Her shack is filled with smoke and reeks of poverty and she says she has been waiting for the provincial government to complete her house. Her incomplete RDP house in front of her shack is buckling from years of neglect. Molotsana says she is tired of empty promises made by the ANC.

Residents of Extension 6 are also still using bucket toilets.

The Setsoto municipal manager, Sugar Ramakarane, had not responded to a media enquiry by the end of Wednesday (27/07).

The mayor of the Setsoto Local Municipality, Tshidiso Jakobo, says the municipality is aware of the incomplete houses. According to Jakobo, construction of the houses stopped when the contractor died a few years ago. He says the houses will be completed by the Department of Human Settlement, but could not say when the department will finish the houses.

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