Three survive in ruin

2019-07-17 06:00
Distraught Ipeleng Thaele stands next to her collapsed house in Phahameng. Photo: Teboho Setena

Distraught Ipeleng Thaele stands next to her collapsed house in Phahameng. Photo: Teboho Setena

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The plight of Bloemfontein pensioner Ipeleng Thaele of not having a decent house has worsened after part of the house’s walls collapsed.

A recipient of a state pension grant Thaele (67) was been forced to live and sleep in the kitchen and one other room with her two grandchildren.

She said she has yet to receive assistance since the house collapsed on 7 July.

The house is situated in Seiso Road, Phahameng, opposite the Kagisho Secondary School.

Thaele said she and her two grandchildren woke up to the falling rubble of the walls of the two bedrooms, which collapsed simultaneously.

“We are very lucky that no one was injured when the roof fell in and the walls collapsed. Some rubble landed on the bed and damaged some of the furniture. This happened while we were sleeping,” said Thaele.

She said she cannot afford to rebuild the house left to her by her parents who are both deceased.

She has survived bad weather conditions and now have to endure the cold winter.

The house is one of the oldest in the neighbourhood, and a distraught Thaele said the danger signs have been there for years.

She said she is in dire need of help following the collapse of the house.

She and the children are still faced with danger as there are huge cracks in the walls of the other two rooms they are using.

The rest of the roof could fall in at any time. One of the two rooms is used as kitchen and the other, the lounge, is used as a bedroom.

“I fear the worse could happen at anytime and with windy season coming, I fear for my life and that of the children.”

Thaele said she was hopeful of getting some assistance after a fanfare visit by President Cyril Ramaphosa last year. This was during the ANC election campaign during November.

“The president visited me, and he indicated the house will be rebuild since I cannot afford to rebuild myself and also because I’m a pensioner,” Thaele explained.

Motsamai Rasile, the Ward 4 councillor, confirmed that Ramaphosa did in fact visit Thaele during the said period during the party’s election campaign.

However, there seems to be a complex problem preventing the start of the process to build a state-funded RDP house to help alleviate her plight.


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