The forgotten people of Kampong

Approximately 50 families were moved to Kampong near Zone 7 three years ago.

The families were removed from the now defunct New Village informal settlement and moved to this place, a place they came to call ‘Kampong’ three years ago. This was with the promise from the local and provincial housing authorities that their houses would be built soon after most of their neighbours moved into RDP houses nearby in 2011. They have been here since then. Speaking to Sedibeng Ster over the weekend the inhabitants of Kampong said that they feel that it is now time that they too join the chorus of people demanding houses. “We have been waiting for far too long. There are no consultations as to the progress of our houses and we are left here at this dangerous place. We need to know what is going on,” the residents say.
The government has provided taps and toilets to the people of Kampong but the place is not suitable for inhabitation. There is overgrown grass, no roads, no playgrounds and just recently an elderly woman found a snake in her shack. Most people that live here are unemployed and rely on ‘piece jobs’ and recycling. “All we want are the houses we were promised and that are rightfully ours. The municipality and the provincial government knows about us. All we want to know is what is going on; why are we not informed of what is happening as we are tired of living here”
Residents say that the deadline is March of 2016, but all that the government has been able to deliver thus far is an underground sewerage system and a few ‘show houses’. Although houses have beent built where these people were removed from, just behind the Armstrong filling station, the process seems to be taking forever. “There are rumours that those houses are going to be demolished. We were hopeful that at least something is happening but they (the houses) are said to be faulty and are to be demolished. Re thuseng hle (please help us)!”
Another problem raised by the small community of Kampong is perhaps the genuine complaints of the people of nearby Zone 10 residents, whom they say complain about health hazards, crime and the devaluation of their houses. “When we were moved here we had thought that it was for just a short while but now it seems like the process is taking forever. Our children are suffering. We are also not safe at all as this place is near a train station and just near a busy street.”
The Emfuleni Local Municipality said that the project of building the houses is going on and that 128 houses have been planned for top up structures but five were found to undeveloped therefore the number has been reduced to 123. “40m² houses are being constructed on the project. They are 4 roomed houses with IBR roofing. The project is situated within the jurisdiction of the Emfuleni Local Municipality in the Sedibeng District Municipality. When the Project is completed, the allocation will be done from the Informal Settlements. first.”
Lerato Serero

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