A derelict house in Fifth Street, Boksburg North, is being blamed for the infestation of rodents and other disease carriers in the area, which are causing residents’ lives to become unbearable, Boksburg Advertiser reports.
Residents of the area are fed up with the disgusting state of the property, and have called for action to fix or demolish it.
Residents feel the property has caused a devaluation of property prices in Fifth, Sixth and Seventh streets.
One of the furious neighbours, who lives next to the property, said the house has become an eyesore.
It is believed the owner stays in the Cape.
“The problem has become worse and the stench is unbearable. The burning of wires and all sorts of plastic materials at the property has now impacted my plants which are now showing signs of dying,” said the neighbour, who wishes to remain anonymous.
The complainant said a fire broke out at least twice on the property a few weeks ago, adding that firefighters took more than an hour battling to extinguish it.
“Blue flies and rats have become the norm. I have to change flytraps on a weekly basis because of the build-up of household rubbish against my back wall.
“During heavy rains, used condoms and sanitary pads and towels drift into my premises,” said the complainant.
Some neighbours alleged the abandoned house has also become a scene of prostitution and drug peddling. The complainant also told the Advertiser it’s been that way for years.
According to the source, the matter is being dealt with by the municipality’s corporate and legal department.
- Our own investigation
The Boksburg Advertiser recently visited the dilapidated property and found it has turned into a dump site for household waste.
Part of the roof is destroyed, windows and doors were removed and part of the concrete wall is falling apart. Household waste is accumulating in the yard and on the street outside the property.
It was also discovered that the property has since become a home for about 20 people, including children, living with their parents on the property consisting of the main house and backyard rooms.
Some of the rooms have been changed into makeshift bedrooms.
Although there is running water, the property has no electricity, and there is apparently a lack of sanitation, such as toilet facilities.
- Property inhabitant speaks out
One of the people who illegally inhabited the building, a 42-year-old Joshua Mokgwatsane, confirmed they do not have access to a sanitary toilet or sewage facilities.
He said they are forced to go to nearby garages or defecate in the bushes.
Mokgwatsane admitted the home they are living in is an eyesore and those living there are mostly unemployed.
“It also hurts me to see young women and small children suffering and staying in these appalling conditions.
“We know that many people who own houses around here see us as a downright public nuisance, but at the same time, people must understand that some of us didn’t choose to be homeless, poor and unemployed.
“Kicking us out of this place will not solve the problem. It will mean that we go back to the streets and still remain a public nuisance out there.
“All we are asking for from our leaders is to at least find us, especially the children, an alternative safe place to call home.
“The municipality and social workers have to intervene and help us to get out of this situation.”
Mokgwatsane said some of the residents have, after all their efforts of trying to get jobs and an alternative place to stay, given up on life and so have resorted to using drugs and other addictive substances.
The metro has not commented yet on the issue.