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MEC Pieters hands over a new home to Dean Maart, a former rugby player

It was a day to remember in Somerset East’s Aeroville when the community gathered to celebrate with the Maart family as the Department of Human Settlements MEC Nonkqubela Pieters handed over a new home to the family of Dean Maart, a former rugby player, on 11 October 2019.

“I am so happy, so happy for what has been done for us by the Government, I’m only sad that my husband is not here. He was looking forward to this day. Thank you to the MEC and your Department and everyone who made this dream possible,” said Rosie Maart, Dean Maart’s wife. Rosie received the house on his behalf due to his ill health. Maart was admitted to hospital a day before the handover.  The new home has disability special features that meet Maart’s needs. The new house is enhanced in size at 45m2 with grab rails, a ramp and larger doors.

“There are two kinds of people, those who want and those who need a house. As the department, we are saying that we will focus first on the people who are in need of a house and focus on those that want a house later. We are here in Mr Maart’s home because he falls in the category of the people who need a house as he also lives with a disability,” MEC Pieters emphasised.

Dean Maart was injured in an accident in the year 2000 which left him wheelchair bound at the peak of his career. The family is dependent on his disability grant as the only source of income. They have been living in a temporary shelter provided by the department assisted by the municipality ever since. Maart has benefitted from the Department’s Destitute and Vulnerable Groups Programme, an intervention that seeks to rescue the helpless and homeless from the trenches of poverty by restoring their dignity.

Government and business partnerships to better the lives of those in need was demonstrated when Maart’s house was handed over fully furnished together with donated groceries from the department of Social Development, NHBRC, Ikhaya Development Trust contractor. Maart’s rugby team, Wailers, were also in attendance. Today’s handover was one of the Department’s efforts to enhance service delivery in the spirit of “Thuma Mina” and “Kahawuleza”.

The handover formed part of the EXCO Outreach Programme where members of the Executive Council, led by Premier Mabuyane visited Sarah Baartman District Municipality on 09-11 October 2019, to leave a legacy for those communities and enhance service delivery.