Duncan Village residents claim homes were “given away”

Two families are demanding answers after they claim the home numbers given to them by the municipality were already occupied

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Photo of Tololo Dumani.
Duncan Village resident Tololo Dumani says she was given two house numbers by the municipality. The one house was already occupied and she is yet to hear back from officials about the second one. Photo: Chris Gilili

Duncan Village resident Tololo Dumani (73) says she has been given two different house numbers from the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality’s housing department.

Dumani said she wanted answers after discovering that one of the house numbers she was given had already been occupied. She was then given another house number in 2010. The municipality has not responded to these claims.

“I have stayed in shacks since way back. My first shack was washed away by the rain in the stream behind my home. Living in a shack situated by the river is not good because I have problems with my kidneys and legs.”

Dumani’s adult daughter, Xoliswa told GroundUp, “My mother’s frustration with waiting for a house, drove her to the bottle. Now she drinks heavily. We thought when we got democracy things would change, but the ANC government is failing us.”

“My mother and her neighbours were told that their houses were ready and they must wait for a municipal car that would come and collect their belongings and move them to where they belong.” This never happened, she said.

Pensioner Mavis Peter lives next to Dumani. She shares a dilapidated shack with five grandchildren. Peter said she has been waiting for an RDP home since 1992. In October last year, Peter’s husband died when their shack caught alight.

When she visited the housing office in East London in 2017, she was told that the house allocated was already occupied. She was given another number and was told to wait for further communication. She has not heard back from officials.

“My shack is always wet and the kids suffer the most because they sleep on the floor. I do not think a human being should be living here. The ward councillor knows about our situation.”

Ward 6 councillor Peter Kiki admitted that he was aware of both these cases. On 27 June, Kiki promised to investigate the cases and get back to GroundUp. By the time of publication, Kiki did not respond to follow-up calls and messages.

We also emailed the municipality’s Ntombizandile Mhlola. She has not responded.

TOPICS:  Housing

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