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Many residents wait in vain

Posted : 24 January 2013
NOCQWE Lukwe, 67, lives in a cramped shack in Walmer township with three other people, and has to deal with a leaking roof and a flooded home every time it rains.

Lukwe is one of many residents in Area O still waiting for a home promised to them two years ago.

The Area O housing project, which consists of 400 houses, was supposed to have been completed by the end of 2010, but about 25 houses are still being built or finished.

“I’ve been waiting and it is a frustration for me. I was happy to hear I was getting a house but nothing is happening,” Lukwe said.

All there is to remind Lukwe of her future home is the foundation that has been built in front of her shack, which serves as a glorified patio at the moment.

The Gqamane family are also sitting with only a foundation, desperate to move into a proper home. There are currently seven people living on top of each other in the tiny tin house.

Residents were made to move their shacks, DA PR councillor Thobani Noqoli said, and many now lived in smaller, cramped living spaces while construction was on hold.

“Hopefully this year all the houses will be finished,” Noqoli said.

“Some that are finished still need to be painted, or the sewerage system needs to be completed. Some houses are still using the bucket system.”

He said the Gqamane and Lukwe families were two of many families living in these conditions.

“It is taking a lot of time to finish. I think the area will look nice when it’s done,” Noqoli said.

Ernest Matiwane, 42, is one of the lucky residents happy in his new home.

He has been living in the township for 15 years and moved into his house four months ago.

Matiwane can now enjoy “luxuries” such as electricity and a working toilet many take for granted.

“I am very happy in my new house and I take care of it. I didn’t have electricity before, and it is so much better now,” he said.

The municipality had not responded to questions at the time of going to print.

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