‘Nowhere to hold my brother’s funeral’ says pensioner’

Township shacks, South Africa
PIETERMARITZBURG – Mirriam Zondi who is a pensioner says that when her brother, Mthokozisi, died neighbours had to donate bricks so that she had a shelter to accommodate mourners. The mourners could not fit into her tiny mud house.
Zondi, 62, shares a bathroom sized room with her brother and her 40-year old mentally challenged son. The mud room was built opposite the foundation slab laid for their new house in 2015.
Her younger brother, Mthokozisi, died in the same room a month ago. Zondi and her family are among many who are waiting for the Vulindlela Development Association (VDA) housing project in Pietermaritzburg to be finished.
“I built a shack for my brother to use sometimes, but the leaking is worse in his shack and we are forced to share the room. I can’t stand sharing a room with two grown men. My wish now is to die in dignity in a proper house,” Zondi said.
“All my items get wet when it rains. I have taken some of my things to my neighbour. I have an electricity box in the room which gets wet when it rains. I fear that one day we might get burned by the loose electricity cables from the box,” she added.
The VDA project was approved in 2011 but still no houses have been built.

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