Community leaders have questioned the suitability of flats allocated to the elderly by the City of Joburg after a 60-year-old died at an apartment complex.
Ntombikazi Mnguni allegedly fell down a flight of stairs at the flat she had recently received from the metro.
She was taken to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, where she remained in a coma for nearly a week before she died.
Speaking to The Citizen yesterday, her daughter, Poppy, said the family was saddened by the death of their loved one.
She said they still did not understand why she was allocated a flat, instead of a house, considering her age.
“I am still at the local undertaker preparing for my mother’s funeral, which we have planned for next weekend,” a distraught Poppy said.
Community leader Mothena Masithi said several residents from the Freedom Charter informal settlement in Kliptown, Soweto, were relocated to the new flats situated near a golf course in Extension 2.
“During the relocation, officials from the city also took elderly people to the flats in Kliptown,” Masithi said, adding that he was still a resident at the informal settlement.
“But what shocked us was that some younger people were given houses, while the elderly were given flats.
“I counted the flight of stairs at that flat, there are 12 steps. How on earth do they expect an old person to use those stairs every day?”
Masithi said concerned residents asked why the elderly were relocated to flats instead of houses during a recent public meeting, addressed by housing MMC Dan Bovu. But they were not given an answer.
“The deceased died on Saturday, just days after occupying the flat,” Masithi said.
“We will not rest until we get answers from the city. We are planning to go to the council offices very soon.”
Bovu was not available for comment at the time of going to print, but spokesperson Nthatise Modingoane said the matter would be investigated.