Derelict hall is home to 30 families

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Thirty families in the Mthebeni area of Ndwedwe are still living in a vandalised community hall in Verulam on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast after more than 10 years.

Their homes were destroyed by hailstorms in 1995.

Local councillor Mthunzi Dlamini said yesterday that the council was aware of the families' plight.

He said more than 140 families had been moved to the Waterloo housing project and 10 families would be accommodated soon.

"We know that the numbers keep increasing, but we have a list and only those on the list will be accommodated. Others will be evacuated."

He said the 10 families would be moved before Christmas.

The hall has no electricity or toilets. Most of the families sleep on beds that were either donated or salvaged from the storm.

The authorities housed the people at the community hall temporarily and promised to provide building materials for them to rebuild their homes.

Sowetan visited the families yesterday.

Pensioner Grace Zwane, 66, said it had been a long wait.

"They have forgotten us. We have waited for 12 years and it looks like we will still have to wait," Zwane said.

Velephi Ntethe, 55, said their applications for houses were taking too long.

"We will wait, but for how long we don't know. Conditions are bad for children and older people, but no one cares," Ntethe said.

Bhasobhile Mhlongo said: "If only I can get a house my last days on earth will be fine."