Dikeledi Molokomme and her son now depend on hand-outs from neighbours and relatives while Absa withholds her pension fund pending the lifting of an insolvency order.
Molokomme's son had to drop out of school in March because she could not afford his bus fare.
The semi-literate shack dweller said she wanted to buy bricks and build a proper house for her family.
"So that my kids should have a place to call home," Molokomme said.
She said building a house on the piece of land she occupies would cost her less than R20000 as she only wanted to build a brick wall with windows and subdivide it into rooms with fibre board.
She worked as a supervisor at a laundry department for one of the state hospitals until retirement.
After receiving her pension payout she invested it with Capitec for a few months and withdrew it when she discovered that she would earn more interest at Absa.
Molokomme invested R100000 with Absa in July last year and by April this year when she wanted to withdraw it, it had accrued R3000 interest, she said.
Absa has refused to release her money because she was declared insolvent in 2003. She does not owe anyone, all her debts are paid in full, and even though she may still be indebted to Absa her insolvency matter has been filed off.
She said the filing notice was issued on July 23 2005. This means any claims that Absa might have against Molokomme before April 2003 will have to be written off, as the court order for sequestration was issued on April 22 2003, reads an e-mail previously sent to Absa by Tersia van der Bergh of Kaap Vaal Trust.
Molokomme claims that Absa referred her to her attorneys to have her rehabilitated before she could get her money.
The cost for rehabilitation is estimated at R12000, which she does not have. She said she regrets ever investing with Absa. "The only time the bank said anything was when I demanded my money back," she said.
"I cannot even qualify for a government grant because their investigation shows that I have recently received a pension and it's at Absa."
She said Absa should have advised her better about her investment. Absa's Errol Smith confirmed that there is a court order insolvency hold on her account portfolio. The bank is reconsidering her matter. "Our legal team will respond as soon as possible," Smith said.