Byron Stodel, 34 and his girlfriend, Chantel Ludlam, 45. Picture: Solly Lottering
Byron Stodel, 34 and his girlfriend, Chantel Ludlam, 45. Picture: Solly Lottering

Couple, cat and dog forced to live in broken bakkie for over a year

By Genevieve Serra Time of article published Jun 23, 2020

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Cape Town – This couple has been living in their bakkie with their dog and cat for more than a year.

Byron Stodel, 34, and his girlfriend, Chantel Ludlam, 45, have made their VW Caddy their home after it broke down.

Thieves have also stolen the stationary bakkie’s battery and tyres. The bakkie, which they previously hired out, was their only source of income.

Chantel has three children who live with relatives. The broken bakkie now stands in St James Road in Woodstock, containing all their worldly possessions.

Byron says when lockdown started on 27 March, he, Chantal, their dog Android and their cat, Skitsie, were forced to remain inside the vehicle. They would only walk as far as the lamppost for exercise, he says.

Youseff Kanouni, the spokesperson for the Woodstock Community Forum, has been providing the homeless couple with bread and a warm blanket, and called on authorities to assist them.

Chantel says she and Byron lived with his father in Greatmore Street before the house was sold in 2018 and the father moved to the Eastern Cape.

The broken bakkie now stands in St James Road in Woodstock, containing all their worldly possessions. Picture: Solly Lottering

They hired out the bakkie for the delivery of furniture, removal of rubble among others. But when the clutch broke, their income dried up and they could no longer afford the rent of their flat.

Bryon says Android sleeps in the front while they sleep at the back. 

Chantel adds: “We wash in the bakkie and we have the best neighbours who give us hot water and even a hot meal. They even allow us to use the toilet.”

Byron says they are desperately looking for work: “I do maintenance work or I will wash cars and Chantel does char work.”

To assist, please call Youssef on 071 152 4062.

Daily Voice

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