Hostel dwellers in Barberton, Mpumalanga, have marched to the City of Mbombela offices in the area demanding that government should build them houses. The residents claim the state of the hostel is dilapidated and on the brink of collapse.
They also claim that they get illnesses from the asbestos roofing.
The aggrieved hostel dwellers held a peaceful march to the local municipal offices to hand over a memorandum of grievances.
They are demanding to be moved out of the hostel and be built RDP houses. The residents claim that the hostel housing units are leaking during rains.
More than hundred families have been living in the hostel for decades. Lindokuhle Mangokoana, a resident committee chair at the hostel, says their housing concerns must be included in the municipality’s latest IDP budget.
“The Public Protector has already declared that the hostel is unfit for human habitation. We believe that the municipality must take the Public Protector report into cognisance before they can approve their IDP.”
Residents complain that the situation is getting worse
The residents claim they have raised the matter with the municipality for years now, saying their living conditions are getting worse.
One resident says, “These issues started I think in 2013, there was a protest that took about three months, that protest was about the land, which we still don’t have up to date.”
Another resident, “The house is collapsing, the roofing is asbestos, we have no peace in that hostel.”
The municipality is currently building new structures, but residents are not happy with them.
Dr Derrick Ndlovu, general manager responsible for service centres at the City of Mbombela, received the memorandum of grievances.
“We have received the memorandum from the community members, as the management we will sit and look at the memorandum, in no time, in a few days we will be in a position to respond.”
The march coincided with the passing of the budget for financial year 2022/23. The municipality has been given seven days to respond to the residents’ demands.