But he still waits for his RDP house
Rats chewed a 60-year-old man's big toe while he was asleep in a shack at Madelakufa in Tembisa.
Wycliffe Xolela Dlungwana woke in terror to see rats 'as big as my shoe" scurrying away from his blood-drenched foot.
Now, due to diabetes and gangrene, he has had to have his leg amputated.
Dlungwana could not believe his eyes when he woke up to find chunks of flesh had been eaten away from his right big toe.
His wife Ester, 57, ran to neighbours and asked them to take him to the clinic, from where he was transferred to Tembisa Hospital.
"I was sleeping when I felt something moving up and down my foot, but I didn't wake up because there was no pain. After a while I woke up and saw my foot covered in blood and the blood-soaked rats running away.
"The rats were as big as my shoes. They had bitten me deeply on my big toe. I was so shocked I could not breathe," Dlungwana said.
When he arrived at hospital, a doctor told him he had sugar diabetes and his leg would have to be amputated.
"I was terrified and I refused to have my leg amputated, hoping and praying that I would survive," he said.
Then in June gangrene set in and his leg was amputated. "I cried because I realised that my life would never be the same," sobbed Dlungwana.
Dlungwana, who was retrenched in 1998, said he shared his rat-infested two-roomed shack with his wife, four children and four grandchildren because he was still waiting for an RDP house he applied for in 1996.
"I have no choice, but to stay here with the rats."
His family survives on the monthly child-support grant for his two grandchildren.
Dlungwana was sitting with friends with his new crutches next to him when Sowetan visited him.
Community spokesman Jane Manjiya said: "We have a big problem with these rats.
"We appeal to the municipality to come up with a solution to this problem," she said.
Recently Sowetan published a report about a 13-month-old baby girl gnawed to death by rats while sleeping with her mother a few kilometres from Dlungwana's shack.