Elderly live in fear of losing their houses

TWO elderly women ofMeadowlands, Soweto, have accused Real People Housing of conning them into mortgaging their municipal houses.

Christina, 60, and her husband Ismael Motukisi took out what they thought was a loan of R60000 from Real People Housing to extend their house.

The title deed to the house was transferred to the company because the money was obtained under a lease agreement. The couple now owe Real People Housing a total of R132000, including interest.

The new National Credit Act states that the interest on a loan cannot exceed the initial loan amount.

But, Real People Housing do not lend people money. Instead they allow residents to lease their own homes while repaying the debt.

The Motukisis have been served two eviction notices, which were allegedly not stamped, signed or delivered by the sheriff of the court.

"I have tried to phone the company, but each time there is nobody available to talk to me. Once I was told that I could go to hell because they have better buyers for the property," Christina Motukisi said.

Margaret Mokwetsi, 77, is burdened with a R28000 loan that her late husband took to extend their house in the 1990s.

She has proof that her account is debited with R1400 a month, yet she claims that her house has been put up for sale.

"After this money is debited from my account every month, I am left with R71, yet they want to put me out of my home," Mokwetsi said.

She owes R22000 of the initial amount even though she has been up to date with her repayments for the past 15 years.

"Strangers walk in and out of my yard, saying they are here to view the house as it has been advertised as being on sale," she said.

Mokwetsi is also charged R1500 monthly for water and electricity by Real People Housing.

According to Yolande van Rensburg, spokesperson for Real People, Mokwetsi cannot get a pensioner's discount on her water and electricity because they own the title deed to her house.

Van Rensburg said: "Margaret Mokwetsi's account is up to date and has never been in arrears. We have no record of making contact with the client regarding eviction or intention to sell her property."

But she said they had started legal proceedings against the Motukisis as they were refusing to vacate the house and owed R27594,79.

"Though we have an uncontested eviction order against the client, we will offer a final opportunity to structure a payment plan.

"But, this arrangement will expire if the client fails to pay. We will have no option but to proceed with the eviction order," she said.