Family “living in fear”, things have become so bad that the walls shake whenever a car passes by.
CONCERN has again been raised about Sol Plaatje Municipality’s lack of intervention regarding a “cracked and crumbling” RDP house in Morris Lenyibi Street in Kagisho.
The house was among the first six RDP showhouses erected, but its condition has been worsening ever since.
The family occupying the house is bracing itself to spend another cold winter in the house.
They said that the municipality was aware of the problem, but had “done very little about it”.
The family says that the only help they have received from the local authority has been “a 5-litre paint, a door and five zinc plates” from former mayor Patrick Lenyibi, over five years ago.
The family has become increasingly concerned over the years about the state of the house, pointing out that things have become so bad that the walls shake whenever a car passes by.
The family consists of a 72-year-old woman, her daughter and her grandchildren, of which the youngest is three years old.
The family said that they have received numerous “promises” from the municipality over the years, but every time officials arrived to assess the situation the family were told that a report would be compiled or that the municipality was waiting for funds, and that’s where it would end.
A member of the family said that they now “live in fear” and have to watch that the children “do not play next to the walls”.
She said that recommendations were made by various ward councillors for the family to be moved into a temporary structure until the house is demolished and rebuilt.
“We are waiting in fear. This is a safety concern. But it seems our house will forever remain a showhouse as different people come to do inspections and vanish,” she said.
“The walls are moving and one can see through the cracks in the house.
“We have been patching the walls with cement every year to avoid the roof from being blown off by strong winds and water from entering the house during the rainy season.
“At some stage, I paid the municipality for the metre box to be moved to a safer spot in the house but it has not been done.
“The then minister of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, Lindiwe Sisulu, gave an instruction for this house to be demolished over seven years ago and for it to be rebuilt … but that has not materialised.
“That was the time when mayor Lenyibi provided the paint, door and five zinc plate.”
The Sol Plaatje Municipality responded by saying that there are hundreds of houses in a similar state.
Municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie said that in many cases it was due to poor workmanship by the contractors. He said that some of the houses have been fixed with the assistance of various stakeholders.
“As a municipality, we have been part of such a process, depending on availability of funds, through other stakeholders.
“For now, there are several houses in our jurisdiction that we would also have endeavoured to assist, but there are no funds,” said Matsie.