Housing problems in Phase 9

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The shack that Justina Kotelo was given 14 days to move out of. PHOTO: PULANE CHOANE

Disgruntled residents in Bloemfontein’s Phase 9 settlement say that they will not allow the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality to accommodate new residents until it has resolved the issues of the current dwellers who say they have been waiting for the municipality to deal with their own issues for many months, even years now.
The municipality revealed to them that it intends to bring 10 new residents who will now live in the community. However, residents are adamant that before new people are brought in to live there, the current issues must first be solved.

Disgruntled Phase 9 residents, Justina Kotelo and Serame Ramangalane, say it is unfair for the municipality to place new residents into the settlement when their issues are yet to be resolved. PHOTO: PULANE CHOANE

One woman, Justina Kotelo, told Voice while in tears that she was kicked out of a shack she was living in, which belongs to her son, a contractor who travels around the country. They gave me 14 days to vacate this site as it already has a new owner,” Kotelo said.
She and other angry residents who were in similar situations alleged that the municipal officials identify vulnerable residents before kicking them out and giving their homes away to new dwellers who have paid bribes to secure their new homes.
Another resident, 78-year-old Serame Ramangalane, told Voice that something similar happened to him, only now he shares a yard with the two new residents, whom he says, are two females “young enough to be my grandchildren or children”.
He alleges that the duo verbally abuses him and have told him that he can no longer use the washing line, tap nor the toilet in the yard as they now live there and own the yard and those things as well. “I have been from pillar to post trying to get help on this matter. A man by the name of Mofokeng who works at the municipal offices keeps promising that he will come and visit me and maybe move me somewhere else and I have been waiting for him. At my age, what kind of life is this?” Ramangalane said.
The two women who now share the yard with him were not present when Voice was at the house at the time.
At the time of going to press municipal spokesperson, Qondile Khedama, had not yet commented on the matter.

PULANE CHOANE
pulane@centralmediagroup.co.za