Disabled mom still waiting for her house 10 years after being approved

Ntombokuqala Nopulula needs answers about her house in Crossroads.

Ten years after the Ntombokuqala Nopulula was approved by the Human Settlements Department to get the house at the N2 Gateway project in Boystown, she is still waiting to move into her new home.

And the Department of Human Settlements has said it’s possible that she could not be tracked down when the houses were allocated.

The wheelchair-bound Ms Nopulula said when she went to the provincial Department of Human Settlements in 2012, she had been told that she’d been approved for housing, now she’s demanding answers from the MEC for Human Settlements and the local councillor Nceba Ntshweza about her house.

“I was told I should get the house at the N2 Gateway but up to today there’s nothing.I went to the late councillor and she nearly ate me up. But I have not rested. The current councillor promised to get me a house but until today I have no house,” she told Vukani.

She fears that her approved house might have been allocated to someone else.

“People that we were all approved are now in their houses but I am still renting.

“I need my house because the money that I get is too little. I get R1900 and have to pay R1500. Remember I also have policies (too). Eventually I go home with nothing,” she said.

Ms Nopulula lives in a rented RDP house in Crossroads with her sister, her only income a disability grant.

“Vukani is my last hope to assist me on this issue. I cannot go up and down with a wheelchair. Sadly the current councillor wants me to always go to his office to enquire although I am in a wheelchair. If by next year I do not get the house, I won’t have a place to stay because the rent is going up,” she said.

When Vukani contacted the department of human settlements, they confirmed that the beneficiary had indeed been approved in 2012.

However, the department said, soon after 2012 the project was subject to delays related to community unrest and internal dynamics. “The Boystown project only recommenced in 2016 and was completed earlier this April 2022,” it said.

The department advised Ms Nopulula to visit her nearest housing office and inquire about upcoming projects which will cater for her disability. It, however, distanced itself from any promises made by the local ward councillor.

The department added that the N2 Gateway was a National Priority Project and Boystown, which formed part of the broader N2 Gateway, was one of the projects which experienced many different delays.

“As the Provincial Department of Human Settlements we continue to encourage all potential beneficiaries to ensure that their details are correct and updated regularly.

“The implementing agent went through almost nine months of trying to locate beneficiaries through loud hailing, local radio adverts, newspaper adverts, leaflets and notices via the local council, sub-council offices.

“The attempts unfortunately were not majorly successful as many people were found to have possibly migrated out of the source areas and were thus unreachable. This could be the only plausible explanation as to why this beneficiary never received a housing opportunity,” the department said.

Vukani was unable to make contact with Ward 36 councillor Nceba Ntshweza.