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102-Year-old grandfather among 21 families who received new houses in Sterkspruit

A 102-year-old grandfather, Zonisela Mbovu, together with 21 other destitute families recently received new houses from the MEC of Human Settlements, Ms. Nonkqubela Pieters and Mayor of Senqu Local Municipality, Cllr Nomvuyo Mphoselwa. The handover forms part of the Department’s efforts to protect and keep safe the most vulnerable, the elderly from Covid19 pandemic especially now that it is the winter season.

“Government has changed my grandfather’s life by giving him this house today, I am so glad that this has happened while he is still alive. We are lost for words as this family, we never thought this would happen to us,” said Zukiswa Sigqwagqwa, tata Mbovu’s granddaughter. The elderly Mbovu said he was grateful to receive a house.  The Department prioritises the elderly, disabled, child headed families and military veterans, thereby restoring their dignity through the provision of decent quality homes. “We have called on all our municipalities to do reprioritisation on the beneficiary lists and start with those priority groups when building houses,” said MEC Pieters.

The families have benefitted from the Department’s Sterkspruit 539, a rural housing project to construct quality homes for 539 families in the villages of Sterkspruit. Thus far, the project has 350 completed houses already handed over to beneficiaries. The total contract value of the project is R71 million.

One other elderly beneficiary is the 87-year-old Nondlela Mafirivane who lives with her granddaughter in Voyizana Village. A visibly emotional Mafirivana could not hold back her tear after receiving her house keys. “I don’t know how I can thank you for this, you have done something very big for me, thank you,” she said.

The two elderly beneficiaries also received furniture and groceries, a sponsor from the contractor. “Our houses do not come with furniture, but when we looked at the bad living situation they were in, we looked for sponsorships to assist in improving their lives. You can see mama Mafirivane’s tiny zink house was on the verge of collapse,” added MEC Pieters. The beneficiaries were also given hygiene material such as soaps and hand sanitisers to help protect them against the spread of the Coronavirus.

The MEC mentioned in the Policy and Budget Speech 2020/21, that a total of 29 281 beneficiaries are confirmed to be falling under the destitute and vulnerable groups as well as military veterans in the province. As at the end of February 2020, the Department has delivered a total of 8 582 units, with 5 701 falling under the destitute and vulnerable groups and 60 units for Military Veterans.