294 Sibongile residents hope High Court action will bring them housing relief

Sibongile Buthelezi of Dundee hopes the Pietermaritzburg High Court will finally end her 10-year battle for an RDP house.

Ms Buthelezi, 46, is one of 294 residents of Sibongile township in Dundee, involved in a class action against their municipality over the allocation of RDP houses. The case was heard on Monday and judgement was reserved.

Frustrated and seeking answers, residents formed Endumeni Civic Association to lead the battle over the allocation of RDP houses three years ago.

Ms Buthelezi’s story is outlined by Muziwakhe Sithebe, the chairman of the association, in his founding affidavit. Mr Sithebe was quoted by the Sunday World before leaving for Pietermaritzburg,

The association now seeks a court order to compel the municipality to provide a report that identifies all RDP house applicants and a plan on how the process of allocating the houses is implemented.

The Endumen municipality is accused of manipulating waiting lists for RDP housing and having unclear housing allocation systems and policies.

The Courier has covered this controversy in detail – read more here:

How housing scam let down Velili and his family

Housing scam probe deepens as Civic Association calls in Durban .

Kusolwa umkhonyovu kweyezitende eFarm Doctor

Housing probe deepens as criminal charges are opened

Mr Sithebe stated in court papers that in some instances the municipality would allocate a single house to three applicants.

“The [waiting] lists have been tampered with by the officials of the first respondent [municipality]”.

For nine years Ms Buthelezi went to the municipality seeking answers. In September 2015, she discovered her house was occupied by someone else.

After lodging a complaint with the municipality, she was then temporarily assigned another RDP house. “Since [Ms Buthelezi] is aware that the house . she currently occupies does not belong to her but somebody else, her fear is that the house will never be registered in her name and she might be evicted,” according to Mr Sithebe.

The municipality in its answering affidavit conceded there were problems but felt the relief sought by the residents was too broad.

Northern KZN Courier

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