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Getting their own houses


Minister in city as part of Imbizo Focus Week

EXCITEMENT filled the streets of Diamond Park in Greenpoint yesterday as 10 new homeowners prepare to move into their newly built RDP houses today. 

The Minister of Human Settlements, Nomaindia Mfeketo, will hand over the houses today as part of government’s Imbizo Focus Week. Construction workers were yesterday hard at work putting the finishing touches to the houses. 

One of the recipients, Alfred Le Roux, who has lived in a shanty measuring two square metres for the past 15 years, said he was elated that he would now be the owner of a brick house. 

“Everyone in this area is happy about the handover of the houses. We realise that this is not just a breakthrough for us who are recipients of the houses, but for the entire community as it has given the people hope. We can see that strides have been made by government after many years of people having to suffer. We are now reaping the fruit of our patience,” said Le Roux. 

Le Roux, who has minimal furniture inside his shanty, said he looked forward to furnishing his house in the future. 

“I only have a bed and not many electric appliances. I live on own as my wife previously left because we had nowhere stable to stay. I will get more furniture to compliment my home as my rands and cents fall in place.” 

An elderly recipient, Lena Mothupi, said that she too had been waiting many years for a house. 
“I have been living in this shanty for many years. I applied for a house many years ago. As the years progressed we thought we would never get houses. We, however, persevered and clung onto the dream of owning a house one day. Today the council and government have finally delivered on their promises to the people,” she said. 

Mothupi added that the houses came at just the right time for the recipients. 

“Our shanties were often flooded in the past when it rained. It is now winter and our new homes will provide us with warm shelter from the cold and rain. We also have toilets and water inside our houses so we no longer have to go outside or share with others. We also have baths and I plan on taking a hot bath as soon as I move in,” Mothupi laughed.

Dorothy Pheleo, who lives in a shanty with two of her grandchildren, said that she was happy that the children would now have their own rooms. 

“I only own one old bed, which has been broken for many years. The children and I sleep on that bed. After we move in I will get new beds for the children and beautify their rooms,” said Pheleo. 

Another resident, who will be moving into his new house at a later stage, Tom Horing, was busy erecting fencing around his new home. 

“I am not moving tomorrow (today) but at a later stage. I am currently busy beautifying my house with a fence and I am planning to put paving in my yard. We have to upgrade our homes and make them comfortable for ourselves as we cannot expect government to do everything for us,” said Horing. 

“I am very happy to be a homeowner as I have waited many years for this opportunity. My family and I will now have a safe and warm place to sleep at night. The shanty was freezing in winter and boiling hot in the summer. We now have a house with electricity where we can be safe every day.” 

The spokesperson for the Department of Human Settlements, Xolani Xundu, said the Diamond Park housing project is expected to yield a total of 800 Breaking New Ground housing units on completion.

“The project is being implemented in phases and is funded by the Northern Cape Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs through the Human Settlements Development Grant (HSDG) for internal services and top structures,” said Xundu.