Isipingo residents call on govt to deliver on promise of new homes

Hundreds of families from various informal settlements in and around Durban were relocated to the camp in 2009 for what was supposed to be a few months while new permanent homes were built for them.

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DURBAN - Residents of the Isipingo transit camp south of Durban have echoed calls for the eThekwini Municipality to make good on a promise it made more than 10 years ago to provide them with permanent housing.

Hundreds of families from various informal settlements in and around Durban were relocated to the camp in 2009 for what was supposed to be a few months while new permanent homes were built for them.

Thirteen years on, they’re still there.

When Thulani Nconco first moved into the camp with his wife and then teenage daughter, he was excited about the prospect of a better life.

“For the beginning you still thinking this will be a better life, like to come here, just wait you know for few months, and then you go to the houses.”

But all these years on, his hope is all but gone.

Aside from the recurring flooding that takes place, the community, which is made up of small children and the elderly suffers from massive service delivery issues.

Exposed electrical lines snake through the camp and the smell of raw sewage and decaying rubbish hangs heavy in the air.

Residents also suffer from high levels of crime. When the recent floods hit and water began rushing through his shack, Nconco was terrified of drowning, but couldn’t leave, for fear of looting.

All the community wants is what they were promised.

“They promise us the houses, the better jobs. If they can just keep the promises that will be okay.”

But when, if ever, this will happen remains to be seen.