Family’s sinkhole nightmare

Residents allege that criminals have turned these houses into hideouts.
Residents allege that criminals have turned these houses into hideouts.

A sinkhole is slowly swallowing up the area in front of the Mandla Crescent home of the Mgoqi family who live in Site B, Khayelitsha.

The sinkhole started when City of Cape Town officials visited the area to drain a blockage of stormwater in the area and the family noticed it when one of the children nearly fell into the hole.

Noziphiwo Mgoqi said she quickly went outside to investigate when she heard the child calling for help. When Vukani visited the house last Friday, the sinkhole had swallowed so much sand that the house’s foundation could be seen.

A visibly perturbed Ms Mgoqi said she now feared that the sinkhole would cause her house to collapse.

The 53-year-old mother of two said officials had visited her house to determine what might be the problem but did not tell her what had caused the sinkhole.

Ms Mgoqi said she built her house in 2002 and three years later started noticing cracks in the walls which became progressively worse.

She now suspects there may be a problem underneath her house. “I fear that my house would collapse and I can’t afford to lose it. This situation is a nightmare.

“I don’t know what to do really and I hope that the City of Cape Town officials could act swiftly before I lose my house. “This thing is slowly swallowing sand and is exposing the house’s foundation. This year I did repairs, but as you can see there are new cracks again,” she said.

But this is not the only problem that Ms Mgoqi is facing. Her toilet has been blocked for nearly over two months and she has a water leak.

Ward councillor Monde Nqulwana said this situation proved that the infrastructure in Khayelitsha needed to be upgraded. He said he had asked City officials to visit the area and was awaiting their response.

Mayoral committee member for transport, Felicity Purchase, said the City’s roads department was aware of the situation as it wahad been reported to them on Wednesday September 2, by the local ward councillor. They conducted an on-site inspection on Friday September 4, she said.

“We are currently addressing the issue and the area has been made safe. The resident has been informed of all progress and the plan of action,” Ms Purchase said.