Housing a concern ahead of elections

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Despite two months passing, completed structures from the land invasion in Lourier Park remain standing, causing concern among community members regarding permanent housing solutions. The residents’ sentiments about the upcoming elections are also highlighted, indicating that the handling of this issue may influence their voting decisions. PHOTO: JUSTINE FORTUIN

Just a little over two months ago, Lourier Park in the south of Bloemfontein was faced with a land invasion issue that still has not been solved.

At the moment, the remaining completed structures are still standing and these community members remain concerned about permanent housing solutions and how this will influence their vote.

Completed structures are still standing. PHOTO: JUSTINE FORTUIN

Bloemfontein Courant went out to speak to some of these residents and here is what they had to say about the situation and how they are feeling about the upcoming elections.

Keneilwe Lehoke said she came here [to Lourier Park] because she doesn’t have a place to stay. She added that she will be voting. She hopes after the election they will get something better than what they currently have to deal with. “I will vote for a better job and a house. I don’t have a job. I don’t have a house.”

Keneilwe Lehoke in her
small shack. PHOTO: JUSTINE FORTUIN

Another woman said at the end of it all, she hopes to get clarity on whether they’re going to get housing where they are or somewhere else because at the moment they don’t know if they’re truly safe there. “I am not sure if I will be voting because I will need to travel far to do so, but I am registered. I hope after the election I won’t be living in a shack and that I’ll have access to water and electricity.”

Grace Seoka told the publication that they were under the impression that the site was set out properly for them to be moving in and so on and that she hopes after elections they’ll get clarity. “I will vote, but I don’t have hope for anything. I just want a proper place to live.”

Two more women spoke to the publication and they both shared that they see no point in voting. They explained that they left their kids in the kasi and can’t even take food for them because they don’t have money. They can’t pay for school fees either and transportation is a problem because the place is far. “We struggle with water, electricity and the toilet [sewerage]. There is nothing for us here. We don’t have food to eat, we even lost our jobs. Why must I vote?” asked the one.

The other shared that her son is in matric and she has no resources to assist him.

 

Justine Fortuin

justine@mahareng.co.za