It broke my 'spirit' - pensioner devastated after City housing project halted due to violence

2018-04-18 14:44

After her husband successfully put their names down for a house with the City of Cape Town's housing department on April 10, 1990, Gladys Minords hoped that one day she would live in her own house. But that dream has been crushed after a housing project she was finally part of was halted.

Minords lives with her 63-year-old husband and adult son in the backyard of her deceased in-laws' house in Bishop Lavis. She is being evicted because the owner wants to sell the house, GroundUp reported.

ALSO READ: Using candles while building shacks: Khayelitsha land occupiers describe their desperation

Minords and her husband are part of the City's Valhalla Park housing project, which was halted in the middle of last year because of "violence and intimidation" in the area according to the City.

The housing project would have provided more than 700 subsidised homes to families in Valhalla Park.

Gladys Minords says she is tired of waiting for he
Gladys Minords says she is tired of waiting for her own house after the Valhalla Park housing project was halted due to violence. (Mary-Anne Gontsana/GroundUp)

"I am a 62-year-old backyarder. Where have you ever heard of such? It pains me so much what is happening with this project. I have been waiting for a house since the 1990s. I am old. I have diabetes and high blood pressure. Both my husband and I do not work. How much longer do we have to wait?

"The people from the City of Cape Town came here and gave us letters that they are stopping the construction of houses because of violence. But for how long will the project be stopped? Must we still wait? Is there no other project they can put us in?" asks Minords.

'I am really tired'

When GroundUp visited Minords, she was sitting under a tree in the shade, not far from a little house that she and her husband built. When it rains the roof leaks. This has damaged her wardrobe and caused a smell in the house because of a wet carpet.

The "Status of Construction" letter, which Minords received along with other beneficiaries from City officials, is dated July 17, 2017. It says that the project, which was started in February 2016, was supposed to be completed in September 2017. But the construction site was shut down in May 2017.

"This was the third incident on the site," reads the letter.

"The City law enforcement and South African Police Service have tried without success to assist the contractor in the project... The contractor could no longer work under these life-threatening circumstances... The project has currently been put on hold for an unknown period of time... This regrettable situation has a direct impact on you as a beneficiary but is largely outside the control of the City."

ALSO READ: Philippi land occupiers threaten to defy court order

Minords said that not being able to get a house "broke her spirit". She and her husband survive on their pensions and on the little that is provided by her three sons who are employed.

She says she has never had a good relationship with her landlord.

"But I told him that we are not going anywhere," says Minords.

"He cannot kick us out. Where does he expect us to go? I am really tired. I have no more fight left in me. This housing thing has just left me defeated."

Read more on:    cape town  |  housing  |  service delivery

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.