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Offers of aid pour in for blind Tafelsig man facing eviction over R88 000 water bill

Achmat Ariefdien lives with his family in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain. He has been blind for most of his life but recently received a water bill for R88 000. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Achmat Ariefdien lives with his family in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain. He has been blind for most of his life but recently received a water bill for R88 000. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Oct 19, 2021

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Cape Town - Since the Cape Argus ran his story on Thursday last week, Tafelsig resident Achmat Ariefdien, 52, has been receiving offers of legal assistance and food parcels from well-wishers around Cape Town and as far afield as Gauteng.

The story, “Blind man could lose home as City of Cape Town slaps him with R88 000 water bill”, was about Ariefdien having received a warrant of execution from the City threatening to take his house away from him for falling behind with his water account.

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Doriane Alexander and Charlotte Makua, paralegal officers at the Athlone office of Legal Aid South Africa, are two of the people who have been in touch with Ariefdien to see what assistance can be provided from a legal standpoint.

Cape Town attorney Aadil Mayet has also offered to help.

He said: “I would like to assist him in this matter as he is blind and I feel he is being unlawfully treated.”

Community activist and Good Party candidate Paul Daniels, who first alerted us to Ariefdien’s fate, said: “As far as the application for a rebate is concerned, I took it to the City and for now the matter is in progress. We are waiting to see whether they will give him a rebate or scrap the bill altogether.

“Meanwhile, there was a lady doctor in Johannesburg who reached out to me after seeing the story and she has said she will do whatever she can to get donations from her friends. She will be in touch again when she has further news,” said Daniels.

Ariefdien said he had received a couple of food parcels from a couple of donors who wished to remain anonymous and was very grateful for all the offers of help he was receiving.

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Meanwhile, Ariefdien’s father, who had been ill with cancer, died the day the story was published.

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Cape Argus

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