Dry and decent home for Bulelwa
Bulelwa M. lives together with her two daughters in an informal settlement in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. She has no running water in her home and her family uses the communal toilets in the neighbourhood.
Two of these communal toilets are situated close to either side of Bulelwa’s house, and recently, both of these were blocked. This meant that raw waste water began leaking down the alley towards and all around her home. The usual sanitation team refused to come and assist as they had not been paid by the local municipality for previous work. In her desperation Bulelwa got hold of some woodden planks and place these at the entrance to her house so that her family did not have to wade through the sewage.
Bulelwa is my mother’s part-time carer. Recently she called early in the morning to say she was unable to come to work as her house was now being flooded by the recent heavy rainfall. The rainwater was mixing in with the sewage and this was leaking into her house. Again, she was in the position where she had to manage the crisis there and then, plugging any cracks and gaps in her flooring with plastic sheets to prevent flooding. These are only short-term solutions and they cannot address the underlying crisis of Bulelwa’s living conditions.
Bulelwa does not complain nor does she ask for support. She simply reports on her home situation whenever we ask.
Bulelwa is the only one in her family who earns, and she doesn’t get paid when she does not go to work as she has no formal contract or insurance. Nor can she obtain a bank loan for a new house as she has no assets that can stand surety.
We would like to support Bulelwa and her family to find a new home.