“MY HOUSE IS CRUMBLING”
By: Nhlanhla Mthembu
A family from Inanda Township that has been living in a crumbling house that is infested with rats is appealing to the government for help.
“I’m tired of sharing my house with (a) snake and rats,” said Nohlanhla Hlongwane.
Hlongwane, 42, said the house was damaged during heavy rains in the year 2012 which left a gaping hole in the bedroom.
She added that since the damage, rats had come into the house and they had also found a snake.
The mother of three children, who are all under the age of 17, said she had reported the problem to the ward councilor and Human Settlement Department officials in Durban and Phoenix.
“I pleaded with them to take us to a transit camp but until today we have not received any response. This house is not safe for my kids and me. We sleep on couches and we are afraid that anything can (come) through the hole,” she said.
Two of her children are said to be suffering from asthma while she has kidney problems and epilepsy.
Hlongwane’s neighbour Gcina Makoba said she was concerned about the family.
“I’m considering laying a complaint with the South African Human Right(s) Commission and Social Development (Department),” she said.
Ward Councilor Siduduzo Khuzwayo said the house had been assessed.
“I am aware of the living conditions of the family but I cannot do anything as a councilor. The Phoenix Human Settlement Department has visited the house three times and I am waiting (for) a response.”
He agreed that the family should be allocated alternative accommodation.