Leak sprouts mushrooms in RDP house

Mushrooms are sprouting in the bathroom of a New Horizon home.

A New Horizon resident is both baffled and bothered by the sight of what appears to be mushrooms growing in her bathroom.

Nawaal Majampa said since November last year the fungus has been growing at her RDP house and she fears that they may be poisonous and could put the lives of her young children at risk.

Nawaal Majampa discovered a leak in the water pipe under her bath in October last year.

When Ms Majampa removed a few tiles from the side of the bath to get underneath the bath, she saw no fungus, and the leak was fixed.

However, she decided to move the basin to the other end of the bathroom and when they removed the floor tiles under the basin, little white mushrooms were found growing on the pipes which led under the bath.

Ms Majampa showed us where a white mushroom was trying to push through her bathroom floor. She said she had removed the white mushrooms previously but they grew again.

When Southern Mail arrived at the house, the mushrooms were a week old and were turning black.

“The mushrooms grow very fast. Within a week it changed in size and the bathroom started smelling bad.”

Ms Majampa moved to New Horizon two years ago, from Mitchell’s Plain.

She was one of the beneficiaries of the City of Cape Town’s R700 million Pelican Park project of integrated housing where 2 024 totally subsidised homes called Breaking New Ground (BNG) or RDP were being built alongside 760 starter homes, known as Gap Housing, and 360 homes purchased through bank loans. The City tendered the project to Power Construction. It includes state funding and private investment.

Ms Majampa said she moved into the home with her late husband and two children, Na-eem, 5, and Emaan, 3. Her husband passed away from cancer shortly after they moved into their home.

“I remove the mushrooms immediately when I see them, but I waited a week, to show Southern Mail, that the white mushrooms grew into long black ones. I fear that if the mushrooms are poisonous it will be dangerous around my kids.”

Siva Moodley, the former New Horizon site manager, who is now a proportional representative councillor, said he went to visit Ms Majampa on Saturday afternoon, September 24, and in his opinion, the plumber who fixed the leaking pipe “probably didn’t notice that the washer was leaking from inside. I went to check the pipes myself, and saw a lot of dampness. It is possible that fungus will grow in wet conditions.”

However, he said he would ask the site inspector to investigate as soon as possible.

Layla Ryklief, who notified Southern Mail of the mushrooms, questions the builders who laid the foundation “I spoke to Mr Moodley and he said it was Nawaal’s fault as the waterpipes should be cleaned. But I ask how were these houses approved by the building inspectors?”

She said the foundations are built on wetlands but the “flooring of the houses should have been treated properly.”

She claimed another resident had also found the strange mushrooms growing under her kitchen sink but Southern Mail wasn’t able to reach her.

Benedicta van Minnen, the mayoral committee member for hu-man settlements, said: “The City of Cape Town is investigating these matters. The property owners will be contacted.”