Gertrude Williams Picture: Velani Ludidi
Gertrude Williams Picture: Velani Ludidi

Woman gets keys to council home after 26-year wait – thrown out an hour later

By Velani Ludidi Time of article published Oct 28, 2020

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Cape Town – Gertrude Williams, 57, thought her 26-year wait for a house was over when she received an SMS from the municipality telling her to collect the keys to a house in the Belhar-Pentech Housing Programme.

She rushed to the municipal offices and was given papers to sign in December 2019.

Her excitement was short-lived as she was told to hand back the keys, not even an hour into being in the home.

“I was confused, I was approved. She (the official) said my sister must first vacate the council flat which is registered in my late mom’s name.”

Her mom passed away in 2005 and Gertrude has been living in the flat in Bellville South with her sister, 53, and their five children.

The house in the Belhar-Pentech Housing Programme being denied Gertrude Williams. Picture: Velani Ludidi

“I was devastated, you can imagine being excited only to be disappointed again. Where will my sister go if they take the flat? I do not understand this and it is not like the flat is under my name.”

She tried to get help from the Housing Department, but to no avail: “The last email I got from (Mayco Member for Human Settlements) Malusi Booi said that the matter was put to rest and they will not entertain me again.”

Booi says Gertrude needs to vacate one of the homes: “The City may only allocate a Breaking New Ground (BNG) home to Ms Williams once she has vacated her Community Residential Unit (CRU) home, as has been explained to her.

’’Residents may not qualify or live in two government subsidised housing opportunities at the same time.

“The selection of beneficiaries for the City’s housing projects is done in accordance with the City’s Allocation Policy and the City’s Housing Needs Register to ensure that housing opportunities are allocated to qualifying beneficiaries in a fair and equitable manner.”

Daily Voice

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