Eighty-year-old Nothembinkosi Nontsasa cuts a defeated figure, sitting outside her crumbling home in Dlibona village in the small Eastern Cape town of Flagstaff, GroundUp reports.
Her adult children can’t get IDs, so the family of six survives off her old age pension.
Family and neighbours say the government has failed her, as she lives in “deplorable” conditions. The family shares two one-roomed mud houses, one of which is barely standing after heavy rains last month.
They collect water from a river in the village. The pit toilet built by the municipality was destroyed, so they use the bushes to relieve themselves.
Nontsasa said she does not feel like she is living in a modern day, free South Africa.
“If this is what they call freedom, then I don’t want it. This is not real freedom. This is freedom to starve, freedom to be exposed to the rain and wind, freedom to live like wild animals.”