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Belhar man’s 25-year wait for house continues

A view of the City’s Belhar Pentech housing project. Picture: Supplied.

A view of the City’s Belhar Pentech housing project. Picture: Supplied.

Published Mar 29, 2021


Cape Town - A 50-year-old man claims he has been waiting for a home in the City’s R55 million Belhar Pentech Housing project for the past 25 years.

Vernon Hendricks, who has been confined to a wheelchair since 1994, says he has fulfilled all the criteria for a special needs house in the project and wonders how much longer he needs to wait.

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“People who applied for housing after me have received their homes but I am still stuck in Belhar Extension 13, in a shack measuring 3m x 3m where it is impossible to move around in a wheelchair,” said Hendricks.

“I have two friends, both disabled. They are still young and have no children, yet they got homes in the project.”

He said: “I want to live with my children and grandchildren in our own house like a family. Currently I live with friends and I have to pay R600 every month as rent.”

The project, which is a Breaking New Ground one, includes the building of semi-detached and free-standing single-storey houses, as well as the installation of electrical infrastructure, street lighting, open spaces and sidewalks.

ANC councillor Delmaine Cottee, who has been trying to intercede with the City on Hendrick’s behalf said: “When he applied for housing opportunity during May 1996, he was married.

“By January 2017 he was divorced and as his circumstances had changed, City officials advised him to reapply and to submit copies of his divorce papers to the housing office, which he did,” said Cottee.

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Mayco member for human settlements Malusi Booi confirmed that Hendricks is registered on the City’s housing needs register.

However, Booi said: “Hendricks was not considered for this particular project as he had registered with a Strandfontein address. His address was only changed to Belhar sometime afterwards. The Pentech project is complete and is full.

“Applicants, including people with permanent disabilities, are selected for housing opportunities based on the date that they registered on the City’s housing needs register.”

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In September last year, Booi said: “The project will provide 340 beneficiaries with homes and is expected to be completed soon.”

Booi said: “The City encourages Hendricks to make sure that his personal details are updated regularly. This could include a change in address or telephone number, marital status and number of dependants, among others.

“The City will contact Mr Hendricks as soon as a housing opportunity becomes available and needs the correct details to do so,” said Booi.

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According to Human Settlements MEC Tertuis Simmers, there are 369 542 applicants from the metro on the provincial Housing Demand Database.

In a written answer to a question from DA MPL Matlhodi Maseko, Simmers said that of these 2 267 were people with disabilities.

Cape Argus