Seniors march for their promised houses

Grandmothers from Kanana informal settlement went to the provincial Department of Human Settlements in Cape Town to demand to see the MEC about houses.

A group of senior citizens from Kanana informal settlement near Gugulethu fear that they may never receive decent housing.

The group, all women, marched to the provincial Department of Human Settlements in Wale Street, Cape Town, on Tuesday morning, June 30, to demand to see MEC Tertuis Simmers.

According to them, the previous MEC had promised they would be prioritised for housing.

Among the marchers was Madlamini Xuza who claimed to have been living in Kanana for 35 years.

She said her worry was that most of the people who started the informal settlement have died without ever receiving houses. She does not want to be like them.

“We were promised to be moved to Forest Village before Easter weekend, but it was unfortunately the week when the country was locked down. We do not blame anyone for that but now that we are at level 3, things should change. We should have been moved by now,” she said.

The grandmother said she won’t back down until their demand for decent housing is met.

She said she believes there were houses built for them but there is corruption among local leaders.

“We heard through the grapevine that there are people busy occupying those houses, that is another another reason we want to see the MEC. We want to get it from him but again he should (act) immediately because we are getting cold in the shacks. It is winter and we should be in proper houses,” she said.

Local committee members who accompanied the grandmothers said they are not backing down from the fight to get houses for the seniors.

According to one of the leaders, Khanya Dayimane, promises have been made and not fulfilled.

Mr Dayimane said he met with the MEC and the national Deputy Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Pam Tshwete about the issue in March.

He said by now these seniors should have been moved to a better place.

“There is flooding now, seniors are struggling and yet there are houses for them. There was a promise that 70 of them would leave Kanana and we want that to happen at least for now,” he said.

He said there is a meeting scheduled for today (Thursday July 2) between the MEC and Ms Tshwete where this issue will be deliberated upon.

He hopes that the meeting will come up with a better solution to the problem.

Another leader, Pamela Ngudle, added that seniors should be made a priority. She said it was worrying to learn in the media that certain areas are getting houses while other areas are being ignored.

The Department of Human Settlements did not respond to queries from Vukani by the time this edition went to print.