Family desperate for land

2015-08-26 06:00
GRANNY FATIMA KADHER (102) is the oldest backyard dweller of ward 3. With her is her loving great-grandchildren Pearly (27) and Salima Kennedy (10).
Boipelo Mere

GRANNY FATIMA KADHER (102) is the oldest backyard dweller of ward 3. With her is her loving great-grandchildren Pearly (27) and Salima Kennedy (10). Photo: Boipelo Mere

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GRANNY FATIMA KADHER (102) spends most of her day lying on her bed in a cramped one-roomed shack in the backyard of her grandson’s home in Homelite, Kimberley.

She ended up becoming one of the oldest backyard dwellers in Homelite after all of her four children had died.

Kadher is cramped in the shack, which she shares as a bedroom with her grandson and his wife, Jacoline Hassam, and some pieces of furniture.

The couple had to move out of their one-bedroomed house into the shack due to overcrowding when they started taking in grandchildren themselves.

Jacoline says they are a family of nine and could not continue to live in a one-bedroomed house forever.

“We opted to move into the shack and leave the children to sleep inside the house, because it was too small. The house has only one bedroom an open-plan kitchen and a bathroom,” Jacoline says.

The soft-spoken woman expresses how uncomfortable it is to live in such conditions where she has to share a bedroom with her granny, whom she respects so much.

“She does not deserve to sleep in the same bedroom with us. This shack is also not good due to either being too hot in summer or too cold in winter.”

The family’s biggest wish is for the Department of Human Settlement to speed up the process of allocating their community with land for housing. On Wednesday (18/08) the ward 3 community called the Sol Plaatje chairperson of Human Settlement, Vaighn Settley, to a community meeting where they pointed out to him the land that they had identified for housing development for backyard dwellers.

Settley promised to confirm if the land was municipal land and whether it was suitable for human settlement.

“I will engage with the relevant parties to see what we can do about the matter, as the community is concerned they will end up growing old as backyard dwellers,” Settley said.

“I am just waiting on their beneficiary list so as to add them to the municipal waiting list so that they can be placed on any of the open land throughout Kimberley.”

Settley highlighted that the beneficiaries had to expect to be placed anywhere in Kimberley and not only in Homelite

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