Ricochet News

Mother with disabled child still to receive house promised to her

BY AFIKILE LUGUNYA - JUNE 20, 2017
Mother with disabled child still to receive house promised to her

A 47-year-old woman from Uitenhage, Luleka Lucas, who lives with her disabled 13-year-old daughter, says she is frustrated that she is still to receive the RDP house that was promised to her by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality after she was told to destroy her shack in October 2016.

According to Lucas, she has since been renting nearby, but can barely afford the rent each month as they both depended on the child’s disability support grant. Her daughter was diagnosed with a Meningitis when she was 7 years old, which affected her spine.

“Me and my daughter, until recently, depended on the disable grant, which meant that I had to split the money by using some for rent and the rest for food and other things,” she described to RNEWS.

Lucas said that she has managed to find someone to look after her daughter after finding a job in Uitenhage to add to the disability grant.

“I’m not at ease though leaving my daughter with a stranger - not because I don’t trust her, but I know that she won’t look after her the way I do,” she said.

“I just want the house that was promised to me so that I can stay at home and look after my child.”

Lucas said that she still worries that they might be thrown out onto the streets and they will have nowhere to go.

“The landlord comes here every month to collect her money. It’s her house, not mine and one of these days, she might decide to kick us out for whatever reason and that is what worries me because I won’t have a shelter for my child,” she said.

“I’ve tried everything in my power to get help - I even wrote an email to the Mayor, but even today, I still don’t have a house.” 

Lucas says her trouble began when together with her neighbours, they were instructed to destroy their shacks so that they could receive new RDP homes. They all did. However, to date, all her neighbours have homes and she is the only one left out.

“I’m not the only one they asked to destroy their shacks, I was among many, but all of them have houses except for me. The councillor has been telling me to wait, but for how long must I wait? Like I said, if they kick me out, where I am renting, what am I going to do?" she asked.

Apparently, last week, the contractor brought her a form, which she took to the doctor to confirm that indeed her child is disabled. However, it is the second time that she has had to do that same process and she assumes that the first form was probably lost.

“I signed the exact same form last year and I went to the doctor to confirm that the child is really disabled. So, this time, I didn’t give it to the construction people, I gave it straight to the councillor,” she adds.

“The councillor said that the reason I am not getting my house is because, my yard is too small and a 45--square-metre house will not fit."

Lucas told RNEWS that she doesn’t really care about metres, all she wants is a house, regardless of the size.

“I don’t care about a size, all I want is a house. They can squeeze in whatever can fit in the yard, because I am tired of renting and I want to take care of my child without having to worry about rent,” she said.

She said that her frustration is that she has been going up and down many months later trying to get a house when everyone, who destroyed their shacks at the same time with her, are living in their homes - and noone seems to be helping her.

“The councillor says that I must wait until next week maybe that is when the builders will start building my house. He is not sure as well, so I keep waiting," she said.