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VIDEO: Port Elizabeth woman says it's a nightmare living in her RDP duplex

By Afikile Lugunya - Sep 5, 2017
VIDEO: Port Elizabeth woman says it's a nightmare living in her RDP duplex

What should be giving several Ward 54 residents, who received double storey RDP houses from the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, a sense of pride has become a source of unhappiness as the residents claim that the duplexes are badly-built and are not suitable for their disabled beneficiaries, children and the elderly.

Speaking to RNEWS, local resident, Bonelwa Mbombela, who is a disabled and living in one of the duplexes, said that it is a daily stuggle for her to reach the her upstairs rooms in her home.

The 47-year-old woman cannot use her right leg and her right arm.

As a result, Mbombela said that she has fallen several times trying at her duplex, which is why she is missing several front teeth.

“Before I got here, I had all my teeth, but now look at me. I keep losing my teeth because I keep falling in these stairs.

“I once fell from the stairs all the way down and broke several front teeth,” Mbombela described.

She also said that sometimes she sleeps in the kitchen to avoid falling and losing more teeth.

Mbombela also said that her house has leaks and when it rains, they cannot use light bulbs because electric cables get affected by this.

“It rains here, when we’re about to sleep, we shift the furniture and put buckets to hold the water.

“I don’t even go upstairs when it rains because I’m scared that I will fall again and lose more teeth,” she said.

Mbombela said that in order for her to get a specially-designed house, she was told that she needed to sign documents that said she is indeed disabled as well as bring a doctor’s note that confirms that she is disabled.

She told RNEWS that she is still waiting for the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to come and address her plight.

“Our councillor said that our documents (disable individuals' applications) were taken to the Mayor and I don’t know how long will I stay here.

“I have been visiting doctors, signing these special care application forms, the last time my doctor even asked when I will get a house because I have been doing the same thing for years,” Mbombela described.

She added that her family also depends on her Disability Grant, which is not enough.

“I get a disabled special grant, but it is not enough because these children keep bringing more babies in this world knowing very well that we are struggling.

“These houses are small and they need to get their own houses too,” she said.

Morgan Tshaka, the Ward 54 councillor, told RNEWS that he is well aware of the challenges faced by the disabled occupants of the duplexes; unfortunately, he is new to the office.

“Those people were relocated to those places by the councillor that was here before me.

“I’ve written a letter to the municipality, so that they can come and check those issues, but it is difficult to make changes once a person has received a house," Tshaka said.

“Those duplex have been there for a while even before I became a councillor, they cannot expect that I make changes over night."

Some residents said that they were boycotting these duplexes that were built in Motherwell NU29, towards Uitenhage, until they are fixed.