FRUSTRATED and ignored, paying residents of the controversial Aloe Ridge flats that have been semi-occupied by M.K. Veterans who have demanded free housing, say that they have been ridden with problems even before the veterans moved in. In fear of victimisation the residents have asked to remain anonymous and say that they have been receiving death threats via phone calls and on the streets for having secret meetings and trying to bring awareness regarding their issues.
“We live in fear here. Every time we try to do something about our situation by complaining we are met with threats,” said one resident.
One of the main concerns brought forward by residents is that of rent.
“Some of us are paying R800, R3200 and R3600, while the M.K. Vets are living here for free. Why are we being made to pay different prices when these were initially low-income housing solutions for the poor? Why are we being exploited cause of our desperate need for housing and why do we have to pay for housing when others can shack up here for free?”questioned one resident.
Since the veterans moved in, the residents stated that they have had four power outages in the last two weeks. They have also stated that break-ins have been on the increase with only three security guards present at night to guard the entire flat.
“When we speak to Capital City Housing they say that everything is under control and that their security guards are monitoring the premises, but to us it seems as though the security guards are not doing anything,” said a disgruntled resident. In a year span, one resident said that he knew of five vehicles that had been stolen while security guards were on patrol.
“We are not safe. We are paying for these flats while others live here for free and yet we are still treated like this,” said one resident referring to the power outages, crime and shoddy workmanship in their flats.
Capital City Housing responded to questions presented to them by the Maritzburg Fever stating that no tenants have raised any issues with them. In the e-mail they confirmed that three guards were present during the night which is sufficient, given that previously there was one guard. They added that in accordance with the Social Housing Act and the Social Housing
Regulatory Authority that rent is charged in accordance to what a tenant earns at the time of entry. Furthermore, they stated in the e-mail that any shoddy workmanship be reported to the offices on 033 345 2184 so that appropriate remedial action can be taken by either their contractors or maintenance team.