Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Kwa Thema Houses Built on Wetlands

Qeduszi Masina of Ekurhuleni environmental organisation

Houses in the section called Nyanyathu are having problem of sinking hole. Kwa Thema is in far east of Joburg in South Africa Ekurhuleni. It is a small township of about 48 000 population but the unemployment rate is high. The Nyanathu section which was build in 1984 by the Government for the people of  Kwa Thema and people were quiet happy for the houses until some of them discovered the problem of sinking ground and house cracking.

The Masikili family was one of those affected by this problem. Mrs. Masikili was making a living by running a crèche at her house from 2002 until one day having lunch they heard this big bang. When they went to see what was happening, they were shocked terrified of what they saw, a big hole inside the house and the other one outside the yard. The first thing they did was go to municipality officials for help, they came and put red tapes for danger and disappeared. She kept on asking them what when they going to fix the problem but they keep on promising but no action happened since 2004, March. She was forced close the crèche because of the hole, afraid that children will fall in the hole and she was not getting any help from the local Government.

It’s now 2012 the house is not fixed, what a shame. She decided to put lot of rocks to close the hole in the house and in the yard, but if you step in that space you can feel the ground its very soft and still can sink and no help yet.

I went to the officials in the office Mr Sdumo and explain to him the problem faced by the Masikili family and why no action taken since 2004 till now. Mr Sdumo indicated that it’s the first time he heard about it and he went to get more information and came back. He indicated that it’s not only Mrs. Masikili there are other houses as well they want to fix them at once.

He took my phone numbers so that we make an appointment to see the house. I hope and believe he will call.

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