Two decades later, Limpopo family of 12 still lives in tent

What the Mnisi family of Makhado in Limpopo is dreaming of, after living in a tent for 20 years. Picture for illustration. An RDP house is pictured in Braamfischerville, 26 November 2019. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

The Mnisi family of Makhado was given the tent in 2000 with promises of getting an RDP house, after a storm blew their shack away.

The Limpopo housing department has spent R700 million on building RDP houses in the past financial year, but the Mnisi family of 12 in Makhado still lives in a tent allocated by the department in 2000.

The family lost their shack in a storm that destroyed dozens of houses, blew away roofs of shopping complexes, hospitals, police stations and schools and damaged poles and uprooted trees.

The only thing the family managed to escape with was their identity documents, which they used to apply for a RDP house.

But almost 20 years after the storm, the family is still waiting.

“After the storm, the municipality provided us with a tent and promised to build us a house,” said Buthana Mnisi, the head of the family. “But since then, they have been giving us the run-around.”

Mnisi said that, ironically, his family was the first to vote at the local polling station in the municipal elections in 2016.

“Now, we are forced to cook, eat, bath and sometimes respond to the call of nature in this tent.”

However, local businessman Mpho Mathoho of Mathoho Foundation saw their plight last month when distributing food parcels to the poor and has promised to build the family a house.

Makhado mayor Samuel Munyai said the municipality was not aware of the matter and undertook to investigate.

The Democratic Alliance in Limpopo claims there is a number of abandoned, unfinished RDP houses in the Mankweng area. But housing department spokesperson Motupa Selomo said his department was not aware of such houses.

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