A 70-year-old Philippi woman has tearfully told of her daily struggle to raise 13 children, including grandchildren and two disabled daughters while sharing a two-roomed shack riddled with holes.
Nomphike Jali is unemployed and her daughters Nomahlontlo, 35, and Nokuthula, 31, are unable to walk without assistance.
Ms Jali said she had been approved for a state housing subsidy some years ago, but the contractors had stopped building her house without explanation and had never completed it.
For more than a decade, she said, she had tried in vain to get various officials to help her have the house finished.
It hurt to see others houses completed while hers stood half-completed and abandoned, she said.
A visibly emotional Ms Jali said she feared she would die and leave her children without a decent place to stay.
Wheelchairs had been donated to her daughters in 2018, she said, but they couldn’t use them because the shack was too cramped.
She prayed daily to see her house completed, she said.
She has been living in the area for more than 18 years and said her living conditions had never improved.
“I plead to the public to assist me with a house. We don’t have electricity, and we make fire outside so that we could cook.”
Ms Jali stopped working several years ago to care for her disabled daughters.
“The only source of income is their disability and pension grant and that is it. My son gets piece jobs now and then. I just want to see my house being completed.”
Ms Jali thanked the various community groups that have given food donations to the family.
Reverend Mawande Lugongolo, the founder of Lugongolo Foundation, has stepped in to help Ms Jali and is appealing to people to each buy just one brick to finish the house.
Mr Lugongolo said he had heard on social media of the family’s plight.
“No one should live like this. We are not going to rest until we see the house is being built. We are pleading to the community at large to join us in this endeavour to ensure that we build this house,” he said.
Nyanga Community Policing Forum secretary Dumisani Qwebe pledged his support, saying they were prepared to work with others to help Ms Jali and her family.