Tensions run high as flat tenants accuse neighbours of racism

2019-02-27 06:00

A SIGNAL Hill Flats resident who wished to remain anonymous says she was forced to move her family to another, more expensive flat after she was allegedly exposed to increased racial tension and hostility over the past six months.

“We have stayed here in Signal Hill Flats for 11 years and now have had to uproot ourselves and our belongings, all because our flat management cannot solve the problem,” said the woman.

According to the affected resident, the problems started in September when she reprimanded a few children from her flat block for making loud noises, after which the children’s parents approached the woman and accused her of bullying the children. Since then, the parents of the children have apparently treated the woman and her family with vulgarity and hostility.

“We have been receiving assault threats as well as racial slurs for the last six months.

“We have been told that we must return to Northdale and India and that we do not belong here,” said the woman, who added that she has related various complaints to flat management about these instances, which included an incident which saw an adult threaten her son with violence, but the only solution offered by management was for the family to be allocated a new flat away from their current one. However this comes at a cost of an extra R600 in rent.

“They have not solved the problem and have actually increased my rental. We are not the ones who have done anything wrong, but we are being forced to pay for this,” argued the woman.

When contacted for comment, general manager of Capital City Housing, Rosanne Rampali, said that they were aware of a misunderstanding between the woman and the tenants that she shares a block with.

“I have investigated claims made by the tenant. We do acknowledge an issue of misunderstanding between her and the other tenants in the block,”

“We have gone to lengths to try to assist this tenant and even arranged a meeting with the Ward Councillor and the chairman of the tenants forum on February 7 of this year in an effort to find a way forward.

“The meeting resulted in the ward councillor e-mailing the office, saying that it is administrative and he believes that a case of harassment be opened at the police station if the tenant still feels the need,” said Rampali in a detailed e-mail.

Rampali added that while the tenant has laid numerous complaints regarding the noise, there have also been complaints laid against her by other tenants in the block of flats.

“The other tenants in the block have laid complaints about her behaviour and mannerisms as well,” said Rampali, remarking that this has left management in the cross-fire.

The woman requested a move from her current flat, which Rampali adds was facilitated with management offering her a discount rental for the first month. Management also hired casual staff to assist her in moving her furniture.

“We are a social housing organisation and encourage acceptance off all cultures and lifestyles. We are family orientated and want the tenants to live peacefully,” said Rampali.

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