They said they had been engaging with government officials about their problems since 2013 to no avail.
One resident, Makhosonke Maphumulo, said they were fed up with begging.
“No one will vote in this area. We keep on voting but the politicians are squandering money instead of serving the people. This building is about to collapse and we told the government, but they keep lying to us. They’ve been promising to fix it, but nothing has happened,” said Maphumulo.
Independent Media visited the hostel and found a dysfunctional sewerage system, overcrowded rooms and dark hallways. The appalling living conditions at the hostel, which was built in 1970, led to a violent protest in 2014 in which an Independent Electoral Commission centre was set alight.