Mother pleads for a decent house


Site C pensioner Angelina Nxopho, from Taiwan informal settlement, is appealing for a decent house.

The 66-year-old shares a four-room shack with her two disabled daughters, whom she said battled with conditions in the neighbourhood and their home.

Her daughter Ntombizodwa, 34, is physically disabled and suffers from epilepsy, while Nokubonga, 32, is mentally and psychically disabled.

Battling to contain her tears, Ms Nxopho described her living conditions as “awful” for her daughters and said she has tried, in vain, to get assistance.

She said numerous attempts, some by social workers, to get her some help have been futile. In 2011, she said a social worker wrote to the Department of Human Settlements requesting assistance for her. That, however, did very little to change her living conditions.

“I took the letter to the Department of Human Settlements in Cape Town. The officials that assisted me said there is a housing subsidy allocated, but they don’t have land whereby they can build a house for my family. They advised me to look for land or search for a house that is being sold and inform them. And they will assess the house and buy it for me, but I have not been able to find the land.”

Zalisile Mbali, spokesperson for Human Settlements MEC Bongin-kosi Madikizela, however, said Ms Nxopho has never registered for housing with the City of Cape Town. He said in terms of the provincial housing policy, people must be on the waiting list for a minimum of 10-years to be considered for housing opportunities.

“Individual subsidy funds are made available annually and issued on a first come serve basis. When the funds are depleted, the applicant is required to re-apply again in the next financial year,” he said.

Mr Mbali advised the family to make an application with the City of Cape Town as soon as possible in order to get on to the list.

The single mother of four said her appalling living conditions have forced her to send her children to a home in Stikland. She told Vukani it has always been a battle for her daughters to live with her because they don’t have toilets. When they are around, she has to carry them to a communal toilet.

“For over 15 years my children spent their lives in different homes because our environment is not suitable for their conditions.”

Ms Nxopho said Ntombizodwa was once bitten by rats. “My only wish is to die knowing that my children have a proper house. I can never rest in peace knowing that my children are living in appalling conditions,” she said.

Spokesperson for the department of social development, Esther Lewis said a social worker visited Ms Nxopho’s house to assess her living conditions. “Khayelitsha Social Development office is currently exploring various avenues available to help the family. This includes engaging with SASSA (the South African Social Security Agency) and Stikland Hospital for advice and assistance,” she said.

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