Gauteng News

Homeless man erects shack near church gate

After eight solid years of applying for an RDP with no success a man from Danville, has built himself a shack in front of a church in Philip Nel Park. 

The shack dweller, Kappie Van Niekerk said the struggle of notfinding a job made him to build this structure which had become his home.

“I’m in a country where unemployment is high, so I only depend on casual jobs. When this work dries up making ends meet becomes a challenge. When it rains my shack gets flooded with water. It gets bitterly cold during the night, I can’t stay warm “

“I stay with my wife. She goes out every day to find work so we can eat. Sometimes we go to bed with empty stomachs.”, said van Niekerk. 

A resident in Danville, Frik de Bruin who is part of Crime Activisit, an NGO told Gauteng News that Van Niekerk is alsobattling with cancer and needs medical care.

“He is currently fighting cancer. To be honest with you he needs medical care. Its sad van Niekerk is in this situation,” said de Bruin. 

Photo by Thembi Siaga

Van Niekerk had applied for an RDP for the past eight years but has been put on the waiting list.  

“They give foreigners RDPs and leave out locals. I have seen other people getting RDP houses as soon as they apply. I have applied long way back but they have told me to wait.” he said

All was not doom and gloomy for van Niekerk. De Bruin told Gauteng News the community is on the lookout for a vacant Wendy house. 

“A proper house would be better unlike staying in such a sorry structure. There is a lady who has offered to let him stay on her property once they had donated the Wendy house, “said De Bruin.

A concerned resident Verona Makhubela said that she had noticed people who are staying in the community are now being homeless in their own communities. 

“The question is why government allowing citizens to be homeless in their own country. What is being done in order to help them?” asked Makhubela.

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