Council bans boys from hostel of moms
Male children as young as seven, whose mothers live in the Helen Joseph women's hostel in Alexandra, have to live separately from them as tenants because the council has barred them from the hostel.
The women who have been separated from their children said the ban came after hostel authorities complained that their children were naughty and that the environment at the hostel was not favourable for them.
Mothers disgruntled with the new order said they were no longer able to play their role as parents.
Sindile Mashego, who came from Nelspruit in Mpumalanga to work at a factory in Wynberg, said she had to let her 10-year-old son, Sandile Ngubeni, live with her boyfriend who is a tenant in a backyard room in the township.
She said the reasons given for the separation were just lame excuses.
"Hostel officials said there was a girl who had been raped in the hostel and our children were vandalising the hostel. I find this strange because a child as little as seven is not capable of committing such crimes.
"They also said that they cannot stay with us because they are grown up and we could not bath in front of them. But that is not true because the bathrooms are separated from the living rooms.
"I knock off from work at 6pm. I still have to cook and take a walk to deliver his food. I cannot help him with his homework."
Mashego said security guards had knocked door-to-door looking for boy children.
"I had to put him on the taxi back home [to Nelspruit] since the shools were closed. But when he returned in January I had to place him with my boyfriend. I pay R350 rent for him to stay in that yard," she said.
Thembi Buthelezi, who is taking care of her late sister's son, 10-year-old Bongani Sabisa, said she had to give Bongani food at the gate because he is not allowed to enter the hostel premises.
Councillor William Shuene said he was aware of the issue but did not know to what extent it affected the residents. He said privacy was one of the reasons cited to separate boys from their mothers. He said the council needed to look into the matter.