Leaks after flat upgrade

Titus Abrahams shows the condition of the flats bathroom wall, which is caused by a leak from the flat above his.

Two Heideveld pensioners say the City of Cape Town’s upgrade to their Patricia Court flat three years ago, left the building in the worst condition it has ever been.

Titus Abrahams, 86, and his wife Johanna, 85, have lived in their City-owned flat for more than 50 years. Their trouble with leaks in their bathroom and kitchen and lounge windows started after the upgrade, they said.

Mr Abrahams said he had been complaining for three years at the local housing office and the City of Cape Town’s local depot, but no one has come out to fix it.

“Whenever we have to use the bathroom, we fear for our safety and health. It becomes even more difficult at night, as we cannot use a light in the bathroom. I have to help my wife get to the bathroom at night,” Mr Abrahams said.

A leak from a flat above theirs has caused much damage to their bathroom walls, leaving it mouldy and constantly wet. The octogenarians can also not use the light at night, as they were forced to disconnect their light because of water seeping into it.

“I cannot count how many times I have complained at the housing office and at the council yard. I don’t know why they don’t want to fix it. After the upgrade, it all went wrong.

The rent goes up every year, and we just recently received a letter to say it is going up again, but they do not want to help us. When it rains, matters are even worse. We have to put buckets in our home to catch the rain that’s seeping in,” Mr Abahams said.

Ward 44 councillor, Anthony Moses, said he remembered the leak being reported shortly after the upgrade.

“That was one of the latent defects after the upgrade. I remember at the time the contractor scraped off the paint and have done minor repairs to it. I haven’t heard about any complaints lately. I need to investigate the latest complaint, and I will even commit to taking the tenant to the housing office,” Mr Moses said.

According to Mr Abrahams, he was told by a City of Cape Town employee that the City only has one plumber to serve the entire Heideveld and Manenberg regions, and hence it is taking so long to give attention to his complaint.

The Athlone News asked the City of Cape Town whether this is true, among other questions that were emailed to its media office. However, at the time of going to print, the City only responded with: “The City of Cape Town’s Public Housing Department is looking into the particulars of this enquiry and will respond in due course.”

The Athlone News will publish the City’s response when we receive it.

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