Disabled and waiting for a house since 1992

| Mary-Anne Gontsana
Mbuyiselo Vena has been waiting for a house since 1992 and suffers from diabetes. Photo by Thembisa Maso.

While Thembisa Maso, a KTC resident still waits for her house to be completed, Mbuyiselo Vena, her neighbour, is struggling day in and day out in a wheelchair after being on a housing waiting list for the past 20 years.

Fifty-six year old Vena lives with diabetes and had both his legs amputated in 2010. He gets around in a wheelchair. Has has also lost sight in his left eye, and sees blurry with his right. He survives on his disability grant.

“I don’t know what to do anymore, I have been waiting for a house for as long as I can remember. This shack that I live in leaks and sometimes I get pains because of the cold. I have been attending meetings about our houses but since I’ve been in this chair, it is a struggle even going to the toilet,” said Vena.

He moved into his shack in June 1992 and has been part of the Qhayiya Housing Project. As you walk to the shack, there is mud because of the rain and this is where his wheelchair gets stuck sometimes.

His neighbour and close friend, Maso, said she takes care of Vena when she can.

“It’s really difficult for him because he cannot even go to the shop, so at times you find him sitting in his shack starving because there is no one he can find to go to the shop for him. I try my best to check up on him as much as I can, but I am not always here,” said Maso.

Vena said he had someone who helped him, but she works and leaves the house very early, only to return in the evening. “I have no problem washing and dressing myself, but when I have to do something outside the house, it’s another story. Just yesterday I had to hire a car to take me to Groote Schuur so I could get my eyes checked out. All I want is a house, I have been waiting so long and my health is not getting any better.”

Meanwhile, last week Friday, nine beneficiaries with special needs received houses, along with wheelchair bound, 89-year-old Lena Maasdorp, who was promised a house by Premier Helen Zille two years when she visited the area.

Bruce Oom, spokesman for the Western Cape MEC for Human Settlements, Bonginkosi Madikizela, said the department would investigate Vena’s matter.

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TOPICS:  Housing Human Rights

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