The single room in which the Makhuthe family live. PHOTO: ANA

In The News South Africa

Blind man’s disability grant not enough to support siblings and build his family a house

MAKHADO, June 30- Life has become an increasing struggle for a blind man who lives in a mud house in Limpopo with his unemployed siblings and he goes hungry most nights.

Born blind, Samson Makhuthe, 38, shares a one-roomed mud house with his four young siblings in Tshikuwi village outside Makhado in Limpopo. All of them are reliant on his disability grant for survival.

Despite years of applying for an RDP house from the Makhado municipality, the family remain houseless. There is no toilet in their hut, and they have to use the nearby bushes as a toilet.

Every time Makhuthe needs to relieve himself he has to first ask someone to accompany him to the nearest bushes, as he cannot walk there alone.

“We do not even have a toilet and I have to use the bushes to relieve myself in the mountain. When the nature calls I first have to ask someone to help me as I cannot go out there on my own as I need someone to show me the way as I cannot see,” said Makhuthe.

When it rains the family struggles for shelter as the one-roomed house leaks. “During rainy days life becomes very difficult as the one-roomed house which I share with my four brothers becomes flooded. There is nothing we can do as no one is working and all of them have to rely on my disability grant for survival, which is not enough to support all of us,” he said.

Food security is one of the major challenges faced by Makhuthe as most of the days his stomach is empty as his disability grant money is not enough to buy enough food for his family for the entire month.

The family situation was worsened last year when Makhuthe’s older sister who used to look after Samson and his brothers died.

“When my sister was still alive life was much better. She was able to look after me and my brothers, but now life has become much harder. I miss her every day. She used to cook for us and she always made sure that we had something to eat,” he said.

He added: “I wish the government can build us an RDP house with a toilet. We are struggling and there is nothing we can do as we have been applying for years without being successful.”

A local politician, Jonas Lukheli, who often visits the family, said their situation was “very sad and touching”.

“I learnt about the family situation from a local ward councillor and since then I have been helping them to apply for an RDP house. But so far the municipality seems unwilling to help. They are living in inhumane conditions. No one deserves to live like that in our democratic country,” said Lukheli. (ANA)

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