Resident in limbo a year after freak hailstorm

2016-03-28 10:30
Sheila Pillay shows the shattered windows that are still covered with cardboard and plastic a year after they were damaged.

Sheila Pillay shows the shattered windows that are still covered with cardboard and plastic a year after they were damaged. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - A Scottsville resident has been living with cardboard covering the holes where her windows were for over a year after a freak hailstorm in February last year shattered her windows.

Living in a council house, Sheila Pillay of Ritchie Road said the freak hail storm had shattered three windows. “Since then I have been running around to the municipality’s insurance department, their housing department and whoever I was referred to,” said Pillay.

She was told that her insurance claim with the Msunduzi Municipality was finalised in September last year and was promised that the new windows would be installed by the end of that month.

“Nothing happened in September so I went back to the municipal housing offices to find out why everything was delayed. I was told that everything was finalised and they could not pinpoint what the delay was,” Pillay said.

She said she then went to the maintenance department to see if the delay lay there.

“I was told at the maintenance department that the matter was not in their hands. I am completely fed up. I have been running around for months and no one can tell me what is going on. How can the municipality expect us to live like this?” said a frustrated Pillay.

After another recent storm, another window shattered.

“I sat up the whole night because the water kept seeping in through the cardboard and plastic. I was so scared. I had to put towels and blankets all over the floor to soak up the water,” she said.

Pillay was told by the maintenance department last week that the windows could only be fixed after the Easter weekend but was not given a reason why.

“This is becoming so frustrating. I cannot sleep at night because I have huge windows and I am on the ground floor. Anyone can come in. My house could be flooded or we could be robbed by the time the municipality fix the windows,” she said.

After numerous media enquiries to the municipality since last week, acting municipal spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said the matter would be investigated.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    msunduzi municipality  |  pietermaritzburg  |  insurance

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