Sad News: The ‘Doris Project’ Has Been Put To A Halt


Heard of the “Doris Project” before? Well this project started late last year when an elderly Durban woman’s rundown Malvern house was bugled by armed rubbers and a number of well meaning South Africans responded quickly to a call made via Facebook and WhatsApp to help clean the house, cut the grass, fix the roof, and repaint it.

Report reaching us says the project aimed at repairing the building has been put to a halt as the house was declared unsafe for the 84-year-old Doris Ryan to live in.

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In December, the 84-year-old woman called on the police when her house was burgled and Inspector Victor Botha from the metro police dog unit and his partner arrived there only to find find Ryan and her caregiver, Phumelele Majozi, 57, living in squalor.

Doris Ryan
Doris Ryan

According to Botha, Ryan, who needed a walking stick to get around, could not describe the suspects. She had been unable to see them because she could not lift her head. The rubbers immediately fled as the officers arrived.

Botha therefore called Jeff Verity from the Burro Community Assistance group and the men started what they called the ‘Doris Project’ to repair her dilapidated house.

Meanwhile, weeks after the repair project had started, Chrissie Steyn, who took in Ryan and Majozi said the municipality visited the resident only to discover that the renovation would not continue because the house is dilapidated.

“The health and building inspectors said even if we tried our best to renovate the house she cannot come back because the walls are caving in,” said Steyn.

Describing the current state of the house, Steyn said the walls started to crack when new roof beams were put in and they have put it up for sale as a relative suggested to them.

She also said that she is willing to house Rayn and her domestic worker as long as they are willing to stay. “We are all upset by the turn of events,” said Steyn. We hope those who were part of the renovation porgramme would not be disappointed.

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