Immigrants targeted in Alexandra housing battle

17 hours 46 minutes ago
Vigilantes accused of throwing families out of RDP housing

Text by Christopher Clark. Photos by Shaun Swingler.

Photo of takeaway shop
A local takeaway in Alexandra’s Extension 7, where residents say as many as 20 RDP houses have been illegally evicted since November last year.

On a stifling afternoon in Johannesburg’s Alexandra township, Colletha*, a 45-year-old single mother, emerged from the back room of her small, meticulously ordered home with a slim blue plastic folder that contained her most important documents.

Among them was her late husband’s death certificate, her South African ID, and a letter of authority stating that she was the beneficiary of her husband’s estate, most notably the RDP house that he’d been allocated in 2006.

Having lost her husband more than a decade ago, Colletha now faced losing the home they had intended to share together, on the cramped eastern edge of Alexandra next to the busy N3 Bypass.

Colletha said that in early February a local “vigilante” group called Bonafide Organization, which has been accused of illegally evicting dozens of foreign nationals from RDP houses in Extension 7 since mid-November last year, had told her that she was on their list for further evictions scheduled for the coming weeks.

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Buffalo City mum on its shoddy RDP houses

6 days 1 hour ago
Residents say they occupied the poorly built, incomplete houses after they had stood empty for six months

By Lisekho Madikane

Photo of an unplastered house
People staying in RDP homes in Velwano, Mdantsane, are living in incomplete houses and appalling conditions. Photo: Lisekho Madikane

People staying in RDP homes in Velwano, Mdantsane, are living in incomplete houses and appalling conditions. Residents blame the municipality and the Ruwacon construction company. The company denies responsibility. Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality has not responded to GroundUp’s queries despite repeated attempts for over three weeks to get comment from its spokespeople.

“When they started building the houses we were excited because we were finally going to move out of the shacks and live in a better place. But the way things are now, I think I was better off staying at the shacks. At least there I had a toilet nearby,” says Kiga Ntyala.

Kiga and Nongenisile Ntyala are elderly and suffer from disability. They have to send their grandchildren to fetch water from a tap about 150 metres away. Much of the time it is dry and the grandchildren have to walk 500 metres to access water on the other side of the location before going to school.

The Ntyalas occupied the house in 2017 after it had stood empty for six months. The walls are cracked and there are no windows or doors and no toilet. The family relieve themselves in a bucket or use the veld behind the Mdantsane train station.

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