A background dweller and her family in Kuils River have been without water and electricity since June after their landlord cut them off for not paying rent.
Mom Gwen Edgar, 44, says no warning was given, despite her telling the landlord that her salary had been cut due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
“My three sons and I woke up one day only to find that our electricity had been cut off and when I called the landlord he told me to wait for his wife to wake up.”
The receptionist at a fridge factory says because of the lockdown she only gets 50% of her salary.
Gwen says she discussed the issue with her landlord and says he agreed that she can pay half of the rent money for the separate entrance, which came to R3750.
She says they did not expect to be cut off, since their lease stated that water and electricity are included in the rent.
“Still today we don’t have water and electricity and it is not hygienic because we can’t even flush the toilet,” said Gwen.
She said the landlord threatened to have new tenants move in with them.
Landlord Hein van Vuuren confirms they had a meeting about her new salary but says Gwen did not honour their agreement: “I can’t carry them in my own pocket anymore, that is why I decided to cut off their electricity and water. She broke her promise and decided to stop paying what we agreed on.”
Gwen also failed to provide adequate documents to prove her salary had been cut.
“The letter she brought did not have a letterhead or her boss’ signature,” Van Vuuren says.
He added that for someone who lost half their salary, he is surprised to see how often they get take-out: “UberEats always knock on my door thinking I’m the one who ordered pizza, but it is for the people who say they do not have money.”