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Tenants protest over housing problems

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The tenants stated that their homes were falling apart as no maintenance had been done to the buildings since 2009

UNSAFE: Residents from the Hull Street housing project are seen protesting outside of the Premiers Office yesterday. Picture: Danie van der Lith

RESIDENTS of the Hull Street housing project protested outside the Premier’s Office yesterday morning over “unending problems” with their houses and title deeds.

The tenants stated that their homes were falling apart as no maintenance had been done to the buildings since 2009.

“The flats are unstable, while the double storey flats that were supposed to be separated by cement were replaced with wood. Some of the wood beams have become rotten and have crumbled due to the heat. We have fallen through the floorboards and many tenants are elderly. The structures are not safe.”

They added that they were promised solar heating panels and electricity generating photo-voltaic panels, a tower wind charger, fruit trees and a clinic.

“The park that we created for our children has been destroyed. Miners have dug holes on the playground that pose a danger to our children. All the promises never materialised. None of the homes have been earthed. Time after time the drains are blocked.”

They indicated that after paying hundreds of thousands of rand they were still renting their homes.

One resident, Sharon Lemmetjies, said that her husband had retired while they were still waiting for the title deed 15 years after applying for ownership.

“We are paying about R1 500 per month for rent and we still do not own a home of our own. Tenants stopped paying rent because the landlord keeps on demanding money from us.”

Melissa Ludick, who was evicted from the housing development in 2015, said that she had to scurry around to find alternative accommodation while she was pregnant.

“My daughter is now four years old and I am living in a one-bedroom flat at Flamingo Court with my four children.”

The spokesperson for the Office of the Premier, Bronwyn Thomas-Abrahams, said that a memorandum was yesterday received from Hull Street residents by the head of the Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), Bafadile Lenkoe, on behalf of the premier.

“The premier was unable to accept the memorandum as she had prior commitments. An undertaking was made that the list of demands raised in the memorandum would be looked into and that the residents will be furnished with a response within seven days.”

The spokesperson for Coghsta, Lerato Khunou, added that the department would meet with the residents and respond to their concerns in the next seven working days.