How housing scam let down Velili and his family

Velili Ndabambi and his family are one of the victims who has suffered because of the RDP housing scam that has enveloped the new housing developments in Sibongile.
Mr Ndabambi (72) has told his woeful tale that has seen him and many others denied of decent housing. Instead, the houses have been given to the politically connected, to friends of some municipal officials and those serving on the housing committee, says Mzwakhe Sithebe of the Endumeni Civic Association.
Mr Ndabambi lives in a shack in Mzomusha with his partner, four dependents and their children. They survive only on an old age pension and child grant money.
It was in 1998 that he first applied for a RDP house. He went to the municipality, filled in the application form, yet never received any paperwork saying that he had applied for a house.
He never received any feedback and never saw the inside of any new home although by that time the housing development, now called France, was being built.
Desperate to improve his standard of living, Mr Ndabambi applied again for a house in 2003. He went through the same process and again never received any feedback from the municipality.

 

He has never been allocated another house and he is now reluctant to re-apply as he is marked down as already being a homeowner.

Suddenly, he received correspondence that his application had been rejected as he ‘already owns a house in extension 18’.
Surprised by this news, Mr Ndabambi went to the municipality to find out which was his house and what was the lot number.
He also wanted to know who was staying in the house.
However, officials refused to divulge any of these details. He has never been allocated another house and he is now reluctant to re-apply as he is marked down as already being a homeowner. So he is still in his shack which has no electricity.
However, Mr Sithebe and his Civic Association believe that after serving court papers on the Endumeni Municipality with both the Provincial and National Departments of Human Settlement as second and third respondents, there will finally be justice for Mr Ndabambi and many others like him who have seen house after house being handed over to people who Mr Sithebe says are not truly deserving.

Mr Sithebe described the corruption as ‘unconstitutional and was a denial of people’s basic human rights’.

“We estimate there are at least another 294 people like Mr Ndabambi who have been short changed because of corruption.
“There are proven cases where three people have been allocated one site number – eg. lots 3485 and 4392 – and this has created a lot of distress and anger.
“There are cases, eg. lot number 3531, which was given to another person although the ward committee had already allocated the house to a deserving person.”
Mr Sithebe described the corruption as ‘unconstitutional and was a denial of people’s basic human rights’.

“The municipality and the other two respondents have 20 days to respond to our court application.
“We also want to have access to the original housing list so we can check that all those beneficiaries are deserving cases. But up until now, we have not been given any information. It is so sad because you see fancy cars parked outside these new RDP homes that have been rented out by landlords while people like Mr Ndabambi continue to wallow in poverty.”

  AUTHOR
T Worley

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