Sowetan: Too ugly to get a house
Sowetan 3/4/2008

Too ugly to get a house
So granny’s RDP home is given to someone else

Alex Matlala

A Limpopo grandmother still sleeps on the street after housing officials gave her RDP house to another person because she is too “old and ugly”.

Modjadji Malatji claims a female official of the Greater Polokwane municipality told her she could not be given the house because she is “old and ugly”.

Malatji, 57, a mother of five, came from Tropical Paradise in Tzaneen in search of work in Polokwane in the early 1980s. Since then she has been sleeping on the street.

In January 2000 Malatji was high up on the list of people waiting to be allocated RDP houses.

But when she was due to receive one in 2004 she was allegedly told by an official that her name had been removed from the list and her house given to somebody else.

“I approached the municipality to ask about the house but they said I was too ‘old and ugly’ to get a house,” a sobbing Malatji said yesterday.

“The officials said my days were numbered and that the house had been given to a younger person who would be able to stay in the house for more than 10 years.”

Sowetan found the house she claimed was meant for her in Seshego extension 44. It was occupied by someone else.

Municipal spokesman Simon Mokoatedi said the municipality would try to establish what exactly happened.

Mokoatedi said the municipality allocated houses to qualifying applicants according to the waiting list.

Mokoatedi, however, said the municipality would investigate allegations that Malatji was insulted and demeaned by a council official.

Meanwhile, the department of local government in Limpopo said police, nurses and other professionals were some of those illegally occupying RDP houses in the province.

Departmental spokesman Clyson Monyela said the department launched a housing normalisation programme early this year in an endeavour to fight for the escalating crisis in the RDP communities.

The programme is believed to be containing names of senior officials from government and NGOs who are renting out the houses.

Monyela said those who owned the houses or rented them to others would be brought to justice.