...By Gift BADEWO for TDPel Media.
300 Families in South Africa Waiting for Houses for Seven Years
Andile Ndulula is one of 300 families living in shacks beside toilets in Kariega, South Africa, for seven years while waiting for houses to be built around them.
Ndulula, who uses crutches, has been living in a shack with no roof, seat or door next to a broken-down toilet since 2016.
Ndulula carries an umbrella to the toilet when it rains to relieve himself.
Most of the families are orphans, backyard dwellers, disabled people and elderly people, who came from Taliban and Joe Modise in wards 45, 46, 47, and from hostels in wards 44 where the toilets are situated.
A Failed Government Project
In 2013, the ANC-led municipality built 300 toilets, but no houses were built.
In April 2017, the DA-led municipality moved 100 people to live next to the 300 toilets as part of a “bucket system eradication programme” to stop further damage to the vandalised toilets.
However, a dozen families began erecting shacks next to the toilets, and the settlement grew. Since then, nothing has happened.
Reviving the Project
Nelson Mandela Bay Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Tukela Zumani, stated that the project was disrupted due to vandalism of the structures, and the beneficiaries have been living in informal structures on the 300 sites.
He did not explain why nothing had happened since, but during a recent visit, he told the residents that the project is to be relaunched.
His colleague, Thembakazi Hlela, who manages the 156 informal settlements in the city, said that through engagements with the provincial department of Human Settlements, the project has been revived, and the construction of houses is to take place in the 2023-2024 financial year.
The Waiting Continues
However, when the media asked the municipality for further details, they were referred to the Coega Development Corporation (CDC), which then referred them to the provincial Department of Human Settlements.
Siyabonga Mdodi, spokesperson for the MEC, did not provide a deadline for completion of the houses.
The families living in shacks beside the toilets remain in limbo, hoping for their promised houses to become a reality soon.