‘Stuck in this shack’

2018-07-12 16:39
Community members from Copesville blockaded the Table Mountain Road with burning tyres on Wednesday demanding that their ward councillor, Sphamandla Madlala, step down.

Community members from Copesville blockaded the Table Mountain Road with burning tyres on Wednesday demanding that their ward councillor, Sphamandla Madlala, step down. (Nhlanhla Nkosi)

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Partially blind Regina Hadebe (79) thought her days of renting a dilapidated shack were over when she was profiled and registered for an RDP house in 2016.

However, Hadebe has lost hope that she will ever be allocated the RDP house after not making the cut despite 48 houses being built by provincial government in Copesville.

Her case and that of others allegedly similarly affected were cited as some of the reasons for a protest that took place in Copesville on Wednesday. Protesters blockaded the road with burning tyres and wood and sang and toyi-toyiied on Wednesday morning. Police were present to monitor the scene but no violence was reported.

“I was told my house had been allocated to somebody else because someone had told them that I was dead.

“The officials promised to investigate the matter and resolve the matter by June [this year] but I have not heard from them since then. I am still stuck here in this shack,” Hadebe told The Witness.

Hadebe has been renting a shack in Haniville for 25 years and the rent is R200 per month.

“I am sick and tired of waiting for a house that I do not know if I will ever get. I was told that I had been placed as an urgent beneficiary yet I did not get the house. The ward councillor [Sphamandla Madlala] does not want to speak to me,” she added.

Community members from Copesville held a protest on Wednesday to demand that Madlala step down as their ward councillor. They accused him of removing names of deserving beneficiaries from the list and replacing them with those of his relatives. “Most of the people who were allocated these houses are not from Copesville,” said Sphume Ndlela, who was one of the protesters.

Mazwi Ngcobo said they were also demanding that they be allowed to build houses in an open field situated in Haniville, which they had occupied.

However, Madlala has strongly denied that he allocated houses to his relatives.

“I had nothing to do with those lists. The lists were done before I became a councillor. When community members raised concerns about the list, I called a community meeting where I explained the process that had been followed,” he told The Witness on Wednesday. Madlala said he believes Wednesday’s protests were part of a ploy to axe him as a ward councillor.

KZN Human Settlements Departmental spokesperson Mbulelo Baloyi said the housing project was not meant to benefit people from Copesville only. “Msunduzi Municipality builds houses on the sites in Copesville as part of the Operation Sukuma Sakhe Emergency Housing Project for the whole of Msunduzi. So there will be people from outside Copesville that will benefit from the project,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  rdp houses

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