Gogo still waiting for her dangerous asbestos roof to be replaced

Gogo Sophie Rametse (73) from Mamelodi East standing next to her house.

A 73-year-old grandmother from Mamelodi has been waiting five years for the metro to replace the asbestos roof of her house.

Gogo Sophie Rametse (73) from Mamelodi East Section 12 claimed that her house’s roof – and the roofs of neighbouring houses – was damaged in a hail storm back in 2013.

Back then, the metro undertook to not just fix the damaged roofs, but to replace them altogether since they were all made of asbestos.

(South Africa banned asbestos products in 2008 due to the health hazards of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres.)

Since then all the neighbours’ roofs had been replaced, but Rametse is still waiting for her roof to be replaced.

“Most of the houses were replaced with new roofs but not mine,” she said.

Rametse said that her roof leaks when it rains – even after she had tried everything to patch the holes, the rain kept dripping through the roof and damaging her furniture in the process.

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Rametse had also recently expanded her house with an additional room and the builders needed an extra roof plate for her house.

The builders told her they would come back and that her house would be the last one.

“They came and delivered the roof, but after few days they took it back,” she said.The builders had not returned since.

Rametse added that she was not the only victim – none of her neighbours who had their houses expanded had their roofs replaced either.

The main contractor told her she would not get a new roof simply because they had expanded her house.

However, she pointed out that there were some houses which had been expanded and then did get new roofs.

Rametse suspects that the main contractor had sold the new roofs which were supposed to be placed on their houses because those roofs were nowhere to be found.

She had seen several houses in her area whose residents might have bought the new roofs and used to them to build new backyard rooms.

She pleaded with the City of Tshwane to come and see the living conditions with which she is left.

The City of Tshwane had yet to comment at the time of going to print.

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Do you have more information about the story? Please send us an email to [email protected] or phone us on 083 625 4114.

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  AUTHOR
Stephen Selaluke
Mamelodi journalist

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