Get IOL's cool new iPad app...
Cape Town - A Cape Town couple who have been living in their car after falling on hard times are still managing to send their two children to school.
The family have been living in their Datsun Pulsar since they were evicted from a house they were renting in Ottery last year between July and August. Their children are aged nine and 16.
Dennis and Amanda Minnaar park their dilapidated car, with all their belongings, outside Kenilworth Centre during the day and move to a quiet industrial area in the evening.
The couple sell a few handmade products and second-hand hardware equipment to make ends meet.
“We don’t let the heartaches of life keep us down and we are very blessed to have kids that are eager to go to school despite the conditions we live in,” Amanda said.
She added that her family would help them whenever they could but that they had faith God would help them.
Her husband, who worked for a security company before they started living in their car, fixes car suspensions and sells hardware products.
“We talk to the kids and tell them not to let things get to them. We are positive something good will come our way, we will never give up,” Dennis said.
A catering company used to help them with food but lately the Minaars have had to feed themselves.
They wait until it’s dark before pouring water into a bucket to bathe. They use the toilet facilities at petrol stations in the area.
“We are friendly with the people here and they are friendly with us, so when we need the bathroom at the garage they don’t mind,” Amanda said. She added that winter was especially difficult for them as their car is old and the nights were cold.
“For me it is soul destroying to pass them on my way to work and they are dressing their children for school,” said Veronica Snyman who tries to help the family when she can.
The children are in Grade 3 and Grade 10 and their fees are paid by a government subsidy.
“I try to take care of them by giving them food but all they want is to find work somewhere to take care of their family,” Snyman said.
She said she was certain people in the Southern Suburbs would assist the family if they were aware of their situation, especially as it was close to Christmas - traditionally a time for giving.