Waterloo houses ‘risky’

2017-10-26 06:00
PHOTO: ANDILE SITHOLETim Brauteseth holds a loose brick of a crumbling Waterloo house.

PHOTO: ANDILE SITHOLETim Brauteseth holds a loose brick of a crumbling Waterloo house.

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He said they will put pressure on the
portfolio committee and ask them to
come and look at the houses so they understand the magnitude of the risk residents face.

“Every time there is a storm or strong wind [residents] fears for their lives. It’s really frightening. This shouldn’t be a home for someone.

“Our people are desperate for houses, they accept whatever is provided for them because they want shelter over their
heads.

“But I don’t think that it means they
must be placed in a house that is made
without cement, where you see it’s
purely sand not mixed with cement, and
allow a family live in such conditions,” said Bara.

Bara said that if nothing is done in
this situation people are going to die and public servants will be blamed for being negligent.

“People will say we were here as members of Parliament and left without doing anything about it.

“We are here to see stories like these because [such] stories are not told.

“This is not a good story to tell.

“The lady [Zandile Tshumani] fears for her life and every night she doesn’t know whether she will wake up the next day because her house can collapse.

“If a house on top collapses you don’t know if it will affect houses at the bottom.

“I think this place is specifically not meant for people to settle in. The people must be moved to a safe place even if it means no houses are built here.”

MPs and ward councillors talked to affected homeowners.

Zandile Tshumani (44) wept as her house was inspected.

Tshumani told the MPs that her house started to have severe cracks the day it was allocated to her 12 years ago.

“I didn’t have an alternative because I am unemployed.

“I moved into this house even though I knew it was not good for me.

“I complained to the former councillor, but nothing was done about it. My house can collapse anytime due to the severe cracks on the wall.”

The oversight visit started in Mayville transit camps and proceeded to Waterloo and Flamingo Heights in Tongaat.

Flamingo Heights tenants in council flats asked the leaders to assist them get title deeds.

“As the opposition our responsibility is to put pressure on the government because our democracy doesn’t say we must always oppose.

“We would rather come up with suggestions,” said Mncwango.

Mncwango said in the areas they visited it was clear there was a need to report back to council.

“I believe that council should assist the residents. We will go back to council and report the problems the people of these areas are facing.

“It emerged that council is not proactive, we always react when they is a disaster.

“The issue of the Tongaat residents needs to be examined carefully and figure out what were the terms and conditions of their agreement with the council.

“Was it rent-to-buy or rent-forever agreement? If the agreement says the tenants must be given ownership of the house after 20 years that must happen.

“We will go through the paper work and find out what the residents signed for.”

Mncwango promised they will continue conducting site visits to other areas and assist residents.

When the Weekly contacted eThekwini Municipality for a comment, media liaison officer Charmel Payet asked for the addresses of the residents.

“Please provide the exact addresses of the complainants so that we can investigate further and provide comment.”

At the time of going to print nothing more had been forthcoming.

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