Media: Residents angered at housing initiative

27 07 2009

Yazeed Kamaldien – Published:Jul 27, 2009
Source: The Times

RESIDENTS of Delft in the Western Cape have told The Times that the government’s pilot housing initiative, the N2 Gateway Project, is “k*k and pathetic”.

They complained that they had been living in small one-bedroom steel units for more than a year.

The 1300 units at the Symphony Way temporary relocation area in Delft were meant to be the first step to proper housing.

Residents renamed it “Blikkiesdorp” because their homes are made only of corrugated iron.

The pilot housing project was launched in 2006 and is to be used as a benchmark for the rest of the country. But residents said service delivery at the location remained dismal.
Security officer Deno Koekemoer, his unemployed wife and nine- year-old son share an outside toilet and tap with three other households. It is the same for all other residents.

“We waited for more than a year for electricity. We only got it two weeks ago. We used candles, paraffin lamps, gas stoves and made fires,” said Koekemoer.

Koekemoer said the communal toilet’s tap had been stolen by “tik [methamphetamine] addicts” and its water pipes were leaking.

“The tik addicts stole the tap three months ago and I told the municipality. It’s still not fixed.

“They have a don’t-care attitude. They tell us: ‘Just be grateful because it’s free’,” Koekemoer said

“We applied for a house and then they gave us this. There is a lot of crime here because of drugs and gangsters.”

Dalene Peters, who has lived at Symphony Way for 16 months with her husband, a construction worker, and their toddlers, said the “houses are very cold”.

“We can’t always afford electricity because when it rains my husband doesn’t have work,” she said.

Many residents have complained about overcrowding.

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