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Plea for alternative home for family

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The Association for Persons with Disability in the Frances Baard District has made a call for alternative accommodation to be provided to a 54-year-old woman and her family in Warrenvale, as her house is on the verge of collapsing.

Picture: Supplied

THE ASSOCIATION for Persons with Disabilities (APD) in the Frances Baard District has made a call for alternative accommodation to be provided for 54-year-old Julia Batshegi and her family in Warrenvale, as her house is on the verge of collapsing.

Baitshegi, who lives in one of the “vaalblok huise” in Warrenvale, expressed concern that she, her disabled son and her sick husband are at risk of being buried under the rubble of their RDP home.

Local residents claimed that the houses, which were erected about 24 years ago, were imposed on them after the project was rejected in Postmasburg.

They were apparently threatened that they would never get any other house if they did not settle for those ones.

The houses started developing serious cracks five years after they were built. With the houses now on the verge of collapse, only those who can afford to do so can rebuild their houses.

The corner of Baitshegi’s house has already collapsed, leaving behind a pile of rubble and a deep hole.

She said she can see through the wide cracks in the wall.

The windows are shifting due to the wind and the foundation is also cracking.

The APD sent an e-mail to the Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlement and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), and the office of the MEC for Youth, Women, Disability, Communications and e-Government, Lorato Venus Blennies.

In the letter, the APD highlighted that the family should be provided with alternative accommodation to keep them safe, as both her husband and son are living with disabilities.

The letter makes reference to the implementation of the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“Section 6.3.1.3 speaks to Accessible Human Settlements/Neighbourhoods. It reads in part: ‘Accessible and well-designed housing and neighbourhoods contribute significantly to improving the living status of persons with disabilities, as it provides persons with disabilities and their families with choice about living arrangements and moving about the community’.”

The APD threatened to escalate the matter to lawyers at their national office if no acceptable accommodation is provided within 10 days.

Coghsta said it was aware of the issues in Warrenvale with regards to the cracked houses.

Spokesperson Babalwa Mzambo said they have made a submission to the national department on the project and are currently awaiting the feasibility report so as measures of intervention can be determined.

“The department has not received any letter from the Association for Persons with Disabilities,” said Mzambo.

“The department has also not received any complaint from the said family, however, we will send out a team for assessment. In the meantime, we urge the family to request alternative accommodation from the Magareng Local Municipality.”

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