Living under plastic sheeting

2019-03-13 06:01
PHOTO: lethiwe makhanyaSmanga Madlala holds back the plastic that usually covers the hole in his roof.

PHOTO: lethiwe makhanyaSmanga Madlala holds back the plastic that usually covers the hole in his roof.

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AFTER their house was hit by a intense storm five years ago, the Madlala family in Imbali Unit 1 has been living without a solid roof over their heads.

The storm severely damaged the roof of the house, which the family was unable to repair properly.

They covered the holes with plastic sheets but this does little to stop the rain from entering their home.

Smanga Madlala (47), who is unemployed and living with his sick brother, said they live in fear everyday, worrying that the remaining roof might collapse and kill them while they are inside the house.

He said when it rains, the house gets flooded.

They then have to take the furniture outside the next day so that it can dry.

“The situation has forced us to move the bed into the dining room, where it still gets wet but not as much as it did in the bedroom. We live in fear, thinking that one day this whole roof will just fall on us.

“Our ward councillor promised that he is going to help us but since then nothing has happened. Whenever he sees us he just says he has the new asbestos that will replace the roof we have but we do not see any progress,” he said.

Madlala said they just want to have a decent house, like everyone else in the area. He said they would have fixed the house long ago, had they had the financial means to.

He is unemployed and the piece-meal jobs he finds does not pay well enough for him to afford a new roof. He said they are surviving thanks to his brother’s government grant.

Ward councillor Caiphus Ndawonde­ told Echo that he is aware of the problem that the family is facing and he is working on a new plan to try and help them urgently.

“I have been trying to assist them but things take time — you need to apply at the municipality and your application needs to be processed and approved before you can do anything. However, I have managed to get other building material, such as windows, a door and paint, because we intend to fix the whole house, not just the roof,” he said.

He added that he is waiting on people who he has arranged with to help him remove the asbestos from a building in the area and use it to fix Madlala’s roof.

“I think that is the best way to help the Madlala family because they have been living in these conditions for a long time now.’


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