Toilets connected to kitchen sink in new houses, says resident

No electricity since February in Mfuleni housing project

By Mary-Anne Gontsana

Beneficiaries of a housing project in Bardale's Phase 3 in Mfuleni say that although they have been given houses, it still feels like living in a shack because the houses are not up to standard.

A number of residents of Phase 3 were moved from their shacks in November last year and others in February this year so that new houses could be built for them.

Those who have moved into their new houses complain that the houses do not have adequate plumbing or ventilation and that their complaints to the contractors and the provincial department of Human Settlements go unheard.

Resident Angy Peter says she is not moving into her home until the department sorts out the problems. Peter told GroundUp she had to ask the contractors herself to fix the plumbing and to install a ventilation grid in her house.

“The pipes from the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink and the toilet have all been attached together, as you can see. Sometimes the waste from the toilet comes through to the kitchen sink. That is not only disgusting, but unhygienic too,” says Peter.

The houses do not have any holes for ventilation; this causes the walls to go damp and that causes mould. When I asked one of the workers, I was told that this was to prevent people from getting TB. I mean, really! Can you believe that?”

GroundUp was taken around Phase 3 to seven houses, all with similar problems, such as plumbing, no ventilation grids and no electricity.

During construction, many residents removed their own electricity boxes and put them in the broken toilets outside their shacks for safekeeping. In their new houses, many residents have solved the electricity problem by connecting their own electricity from the toilets.

“When we enquire from Eskom about the electricity boxes, we are told that they cannot do anything about it because the boxes were not moved by them and residents would be fined for illegal connections,” says Peter.

GroundUp asked the spokesperson for the provincial department of human settlements, Zalisile Mbali, on Tuesday afternoon to comment on residents' complaints, but no response had been received by the time of publication this morning.

This article was first published on Ground Up :