Destitute after eviction notice

The food was donated and has to be hidden so that it doesn't get stolen.


A family of three will soon be destitute as they have received an eviction notice to vacate the room they are renting in a house by the end of the month. However, they are being pressured to leave by Sunday.

Karen*, 41, and her two teenage children, aged 13 and 15, share a double bed in a room they rent from the owners of the house. They have had no electricity or hot water since December 2015, because the owners have switched the power off.

“The owners also removed the bathtub and washbasin from the bathroom. The toilet is leaking, and we have to fetch water from outside if we want to use it.

We wash in buckets of cold water in the room, because there is nowhere else to go. We also don’t have access to the kitchen. We turned one corner of the bedroom into a kitchenette where I can at least cook something to eat on a two-plate gas stove. We have nowhere to go. My parents are state pensioners and cannot help, and I cannot afford another place.”

Karen* stays with her two teenage children in one room.

Karen works as a general worker at a clinic and receives a salary that is lower than the legislated minimum basic wage. “My salary is only R2 500 per month. The rent for the room is R1 200 per month. This leaves me with very little money to cope with.”

The Record paid a visit to the family recently and provided them with food that had been donated to its Food Drive by members of the community.

The kitchen she uses to cook their food. photos: Roelien Vorster.

Karen was recently discharged from hospital, where she had an operation. “We need to start packing,” she said, “but I cannot help because I am in severe pain.”

Her son recently tried to commit suicide because of their circumstances. He apparently said that if he were dead his mother would not have to worry about feeding two children. “It breaks my heart to see my children suffer like this,” she said

* Not her real name.

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Randfontein Herald

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Roelien Vorster

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