'I’m scared of living in my cracked RDP house'
Pretoria - A woman from Soshanguve says she is living on prayers as she watches the walls of her house crack.
Paulina Majeke, 57, who lives in an RDP house in Soshanguve’s ward 37, says the cracks on the walls started shortly after the house was completed in 2008.
“It started cracking when they were making the roof and plastering the house. I'm scared to be living in this house but I don't have much of a choice because I have nowhere else to go. This is the only house I have. I pray every night to God to protect me until someone can assist me,” she said.
Majeke has been living in Soshanguve since 1999.
“I’m now left alone in the house. My child who was born in 1992 decided to leave after seeing the cracks as he feared for his life. My cracked house has left me destitute,” she said.
No social grant
She has no electricity, and no longer gets a social grant.
“I don't have electricity. I don't have an electricity box in my house. I use a paraffin stove to cook and use candles to light up my cracked house. In June my Sassa (South African Social Security Agency) card was terminated,” said Majeke.
In a bid to have life restored to normal, she approached the office in Soshanguve to enquire why the card was terminated but she was told the cancellation occurred in Mpumalanga. Majeke added that she did not understand why the card was terminated.
“My card says I can get money until December 2017. The last time I went to withdraw money, I was only able to get R120 in June,” she said.
Majeke added every time she goes to the Soshanguve office she is told to go to the Seabe offices in Mpumalanga where she made the initial application for grants.
Majeke said she had exhausted all avenues in trying to get assistance and no longer knew who to turn to.
Locals told News24 that Majeke was mentally challenged and received a social grant based on her mental state.
“I just don't understand how people can do this to me, a person who is mentally disturbed. I just want my life to go back to normal and have my house fixed. I don't have food in my house. I rely on people's handouts to survive. Ever since they cut off my money life has been very difficult for me. I just want my life to go back to normal again,” Majeke said.
Following numerous attempts to visit the Sassa offices in the area to get assistance, Majeke said she asked the ward councillor Sphiwe Montla if he could intervene on her behalf but that plea fell on deaf ears.
“Councillor Sphiwe Montla has not even come to my house despite numerous attempts to get his help. The people within the community have been forcing me to lie and say Montla has been here to assist me but I can't do that because he hasn't.
Thomas Huma from Sassa said the reason for her card being suspended is because she must get reassessed to check her state of mind to determine if she still qualifies to get the grant.
“In the meantime she deserves Social Relief of Distress while pending the revaluation,” he said.
Attempts to get comment from Montla were unsuccessful with his phone constantly off and no response to a SMS sent to him
City of Tshwane spokesperson Lindela Mashigo responded to the media enquiry and said the councillor had informed the City that the houses were built before his tenure.
“The councillor was appointed long after the houses were built but has not abdicated the responsibility of advancing the concerns raised by the dwellers. The houses were built through the Provincial Department concerned and handed over to the City - the matter is being dealt with administratively,” he said.