“Now they are demanding more money and everyone who [was renting at the transit camps and moved to this area] are being told they must pay more rent,” said Ndima.
“We don’t understand why we have to pay rent when we were moved here by municipality. We are supposed to own these houses.”
Ndima said the landlords used the tenants to gain the houses because if the landlords were found not to be living in the transit camp properties, then they would not have been given the houses in Cornubia.
“I have small children and now they have no home. We are all sad and we don’t know what to do,” said Ndima.
Another Cornubia resident renting a property, Dudu Magagulu said landlords were now putting pressure on the people who were moved to the houses in December to pay an increased rent of R1500.
“We were paying R500 now they want R1500 and are telling us we must move if we can’t pay it,” said Magagulu.
“This isn’t right because we are not supposed to be renting in this place.”
A homeowner living in Cornubia said she had witnessed the fraud taking place in allocating the houses as it was made clear to her when she got her key that if she rented her property she would lose her house.
“I don’t see why these families are being made to pay rent and nothing has been done. Now they are being thrown on the street with their children because they can’t pay rent,” said the woman.
“The families that have been moved here from the transit camps should own these houses even if they were staying in the transit camp house. They shouldn’t have landlords. The whole reason people are being given houses here is because we can’t afford houses or to keep renting. It’s not right that these people are made to rent.”
eThekwini Municipality head of communications, Tozi Mthethwa said the intention of municipality is to provide housing for the most vulnerable citizens of the city with the Cornubia housing project.
“To this end, allocation criteria is developed for each project. This guideline outlines and identifies the intended beneficiaries of the project. If someone is in a position to rent out their newly allocated house, they are likely to have been dishonest in their application for the housing subsidy. Any incidences of rental of these units will be investigated and those who are found to have been allocated houses on the basis of fraudulent applications will be prosecuted,” said Mthethwa.
Mthethwa said municipality is aware of the allegations that some of the houses in the latest phase of the Cornubia Integrated Hum Settlement project are being rented out and officials from municipality and province have visited the project and an investigation is being conducted.