The government, according to Harrison Nyapela, does not consider the living conditions of its older citizens.
Nyapela (72), from Dikwengweni in Casteel, says he fears that the cracked walls of his house might collapse one day and kill all his family, and also appeals to the government for an RDP house.
“I am crying, I plea for an RDP house before the cracked walls collapse on us. I have previously applied twice for the house, but on both occasions I was turned down,” he bemoaned.
Nyapela lives with his one daughter and two grandchildren. He alleges that he was twice denied the house by the local municipal officials in 2017 and last year, who in turn told him that those who live in brick-wall houses do not qualify for the free house.
“We live in fear,” the old man wept. “If the social grant money was enough, I would have long built myself one, because our government does not consider our living conditions, and it’s painful because during election time, the same officials come back to us for votes. I would rather not vote because I don’t see the importance of voting anymore,” He angrily said.
In an emotional plea for help, the old man said he is more concerned about the children’s lives than his.
“I am also disabled, so my daughter is the one who helps me with a lot of things in the house, but I’m concerned that they might die with me in this house, especially if a heavy rain comes one day.”
Nyapela added that his right hand and leg were paralysed when he was still working for a auto spares company in Gauteng, leading to his retirement in the 1980s.
He further mentioned that the Disabled People South Africa (DPSA) once visited him with the intention of helping them, but never came back afterwards.
The Mpumalanga Department of Human Settlements has responded, however, saying that Harrison’s details do not appear on their system, and that it should be in the hands of the local municipality.