Long wait for RDP homes a nightmare
When the illegal power connection trips in Moscow’s shacklands, Tozamile Tshokwe’s electricity-driven oxygen tank stops working.
Tshokwe is one of hundreds of residents from Moscow Informal Settlement in Duncan Village who are still waiting for houses promised by politicians 24 years ago.
Tshokwe and his wife Phumeza Skhoji have hoped their living conditions would improve each time they are promised an RDP house by changing councillors down the years. “We thought things would have changed for our family but now it seems as if it is getting worse,” Skhoji said.
Tshokwe is in constant fear of death as he relies on an oxygen tank that is powered by electricity.
“We called our councillor to come and see the conditions my husband lives in. She saw it and promised to quickly help us.
“His oxygen tank needs to be charged daily. We do not have electricity. We use illegal connections, and his machine does not function properly sometimes so we end up having to go to Empilweni to get assistance.”
She said ward 8 councillor Ayanda Mapisa promised the family a new house by the end of this year.
“She came here and we even identified a site where the house was to be built.
“That raised my hopes – but when we called her again she switched off her cell phone.”
Luyanda Lindani, 54, is among the many residents still waiting for the home promised to them 24 years ago.
“I have lived here for 25 years. We first applied for houses in 1994, even before we had many shacks here,” Lindani said.
The community does not have proper sanitation services, and residents are unhappy about the environmental and health risks.
“Our councillor does not care about us. She does not even come here. It’s as if we are not part of South Africa but when it’s time for elections they come here because this place is big and they get many votes.”
However, councillor Ayanda Mapisa said they had collected the names of the shack dwellers to keep in the municipality’s database.
“They are not the only informal settlement that has people who have applied for houses. We never promised houses – we took their names down so that when there is land available for houses their names will be in our register.”
Mapisa said a temporary structure had been found for Tshokwe.
“We visited him and found that he was not in our list.
“So we found him a temporary structure that needs to have electricity for his condition and the municipality is currently busy with that.”