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Great excitement

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“We have more happy moments than the fighting that many people would expect us to be involved in due to the overcrowding.”

ALTHOUGH there is still no confirmation from officials that land will be available for the construction of new houses for 42 people living in one house in Colville, they have greeted the news with excitement.

Some of them told the DFA they are looking forward to bidding farewell to the house they currently live in. The house belonged to Susan Seekoei and Peter Kock, both of whom passed away in 2005.

Media enquiries directed to the Office of the Mayor regarding the availability of land remained unanswered, however, AfriBiz Investments is ready to start with construction this week already so that the houses can be handed over by the Easter Weekend.

The house in Colville is now home to the Kock, Seekoei and Jacobs families. Susan Seekoei and Peter Kock had five children, who in turn had 12 children amongst them. These twelve had 18 children, who in turn had 12 children.

The youngest child in the house is three months old.

According to the families, there is nothing out of the ordinary about their life, except that they are overcrowded. To them, education is the first priority as they would not like the next generation to live in such abject poverty.

During a visit to the house, DFA reporters were welcomed by humble family members to a neat house with only necessary pieces of furniture in it. There was a bed, television and a hot plate in the living room.

Lydia Kock, the youngest child of Susan and Peter, said that it was everyone for himself or herself in the house.

“Every family cooks its own pot, but we help each other when there is a crisis,” she said. “There is no sleeping in the cars here. Instead we spread mattresses on the floors and sleep together.

“We have more happy moments than the fighting that many people would expect us to be involved in due to the overcrowding.”

According to Kock it will not be easy for anyone to move out of the house because they depend on each other and depend on odd jobs.

However, excited family members are still waiting to hear from the Sol Plaatje Municipality as to where their houses will be built.

This follows engagements with AfriBiz Investments, Northern Cape Premier Zamani Saul, and ANC councillor Shaine Griqua last week. According to the families they would not mind if the plots are not in Colville, but hope that consideration would be given to their school-going children.

They said they are even willing to assist in terms of identifying available land close to their current home.