For­got­ten fam­i­lies to fi­nally get new homes

The Citizen (KZN) - - News - Mkhuseli Sizani

Some fam­i­lies who have been liv­ing in aban­doned school build­ings in New Brighton will fi­nally be re­lo­cated af­ter nearly 18 years.

The fam­i­lies say they be­gun to lose hope when the tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion plan be­came their per­ma­nent home.

They were first moved to class­rooms at Lwan­dlekazi High School af­ter their shacks burnt down at Block 40, on De­cem­ber 15, 2001. There are about 27 fam­i­lies liv­ing at the school.

The smell of fae­ces and urine is pun­gent as you en­ter the school yard, vis­i­bly un­kempt with thick, tall and wet grass.

Ev­ery day, peo­ple queue for wa­ter at the only work­ing stand­pipe that is sit­u­ated be­hind a row of toi­lets which res­i­dents say are of­ten blocked and smell.

Res­i­dent Nom­bulelo Mtwe­bana, 34, said: “We ar­rived here in De­cem­ber 2001 with our mother af­ter our shacks were burnt down at Ezivran­dini area in Red Lo­ca­tion. The mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials asked us to come and stay at this school tem­po­rar­ily while the mu­nic­i­pal­ity was busy re­lo­cat­ing and build­ing RDP houses in the area.”

The first RDP houses were built in 2013 but Mtwe­bana’s fam­ily was not moved there.

“Liv­ing at the school is de­hu­man­is­ing,” she said. “We are a fam­ily of 14 shar­ing one class­room. The class­room is di­vided into four rooms with planks in or­der to have pri­vacy,” she said.

Nobuntu Son­jani said they were given good news this week that some of them would be re­lo­cated to Mother­well and the fire vic­tims would move back to Block 40.

Paul Mbe­wane, chair­per­son of the Red Lo­ca­tion De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee, con­firmed the re­lo­ca­tion. He said three of the six fire vic­tims had agreed to re­build their shacks at a mu­nic­i­pal site where 172 RDP houses are be­ing built.

“We have asked Andile Mfunda from hu­man set­tle­ments to or­gan­ise tem­po­rary struc­tures for them,” he said.

He said 10 more ben­e­fi­cia­ries will be re­lo­cated to mu­nic­i­pal sites in Mother­well NU30, while eight other peo­ple from the Block 40 group will be re­lo­cated else­where. The fam­i­lies will be re­lo­cated by Jan­uary 2020, he said.

Ward 15 Coun­cil­lor Celia Mtati has blamed de­lays in the project on “in­de­ci­sive­ness among the res­i­dents”. Res­i­dents were given three hous­ing choices which in­cluded a sin­gle men’s quar­ters, semi-de­tached and high rise houses. The res­i­dents then chose the high rise homes, she said.

“When the mu­nic­i­pal­ity started to build these high rise houses, they changed their minds and asked for nor­mal RDPs,” he said. – Republishe­d from Groundup.org.za

Pic­ture: Mkhuseli Sizani

EN­COUR­AG­ING. About 27 fam­i­lies who have been liv­ing in classes at an aban­doned school in New Brighton will soon be re­lo­cated to per­ma­nent homes.

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