Long wait for a house


Cry for housing falls on deaf ears, say Fingo residents. Chris Gilili reports

The residents of Mission, in Fingo Village, say they feel ignored by their municipality which they’ve been voted in for many years now. In 2011, the municipality built toilets for the residents for 28 households, with the vain promise that houses would follow soon.

Some of the toilets are now cracked and blocked.

Ethel Funani is 74 and has lived in Fingo her whole life. She is among those who have been waiting for a house since the early 90s. She lives in a four-roomed zinc and mud house.

“All they did is just build us toilets in 2011, when Zuma was still a president. They promised that the houses will follow soon. They told us to regard the toilets as our houses,” Funani said.

“All I am pleading for is to get a decent house before I die. My health is ailing already and I am crammed in this shack. The roof is falling on me. When it rains, the water spills inside in huge quantities. I am afraid of dying in this condition. I have given up all hope in my government,” said Funani.

The pensioner lives with six of her children and four grandchildren in the mud and zinc structure. All his children are unemployed. They survive on her R1790 pension and her grandchildrens’ social grant.

Lovey Mpolweni, 64, is one of those who have been waiting for her parents RDP house in the same area. This was until a fire burnt down her seven-room shack three weeks ago. She is now homeless and sleeps at neighbours’ houses. The sad part for her is that her late mother’s title deed also burnt with the shack.

“I lost everything I had in that fire. From a bed, TV, fridge to my ID and even the title deed of the house I have been waiting to live in for more than 10 years. It’s very painful having to share someone else’s house, especially if you come with your own children. We are a family of seven and now we are homeless,” said Mpolweni.

“If our municipality kept its promises, surely we would have been in a house long ago. Even now, there’s nothing they are promising, not even to aid my situation. Life is very painful in this area.”

Ward 10 councillor, Luyanda Sakata said he could not comment on anything related to housing.

“Our communications person deals with the media directly. I cannot comment on the housing issue. However, I can tell you that we are doing everything to assist the families whose shacks burnt [two weeks ago]. We are trying to get them temporary housing structures at the moment. For the older woman, we are speeding up the process for her to get her pension grant card, which also burnt in that fire,” said Sakata.

He said they had given mattresses and other necessities to the fire victims.


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