Hostel residents living in squalor

2009-12-30 00:00

LIVING conditions at East Street Hostel have deteriorated so badly over the years that its residents are living in squalor.

Residents who spoke to The Witness on condition of anonymity said they have complained to the Human Settlements Department numerous times and held countless meetings, but their grievances seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

The hostel buildings have fallen into decay because no maintenance or major repairs are being undertaken. The residents say they are at their wits’ end.

“There’s no hot water, the pipes are blocked and no one cleans, so some of us are forced to clean our areas because we can’t take the filth; but we can only do so much,” said one complainant.

When The Witness went to the hostel to assess the situation, the residents’ complaints were confirmed.

Uncut verges, walls stained black with dirt, piles of litter and a general lack of maintenance are just some of the problems identified during a walkabout.

The stench from the toilets is almost too much to bear. “They’re not cleaned. When we complained we were told that there were no cleaning materials with which to clean them,” said a dweller.

Residents say they have been complaining for more than three years by sending letters to the department’s Natalia office, but not once have they had a response.

They often have to deal with snakes in the long grass, while refuse removal has ground to a halt. “We have to take out our own rubbish and sometimes even cut the grass because they only cut it once a year. We are being neglected and it makes us very sad. We don’t know what to do anymore,” said a resident.

They said the hostel’s superintendent has also tried to assist, but has been stonewalled by the department.

Numerous attempts to get comment from the department’s media liaison officer, Nkululeko Ngcamu, were unsuccessful and he failed to respond to messages left on his cellphone by the time of going to print.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.