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Eastern Cape MEC for Human Settlements, Siphokazi Lusithi, together with Executive Mayor for Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM), Cllr Princess Faku, handed over a house to an elderly destitute woman in Unit P. The handover was part of a service delivery visit to three projects in Mdantsane to track progress and interact with the community.

The case of destitute, 68-year-old Fezeka Tusani was brought to the attention of the Department for intervention and provision of a permanent solution. Tusani was staying in a dilapidated structure with her three grandchildren which posed a danger to the entire family. “I’m very happy that finally I have a place I can call home for my children, I’m truly grateful,” said Tusani.

Human Settlements projects that were visited are intended to provide decent quality houses for over 1000 destitute and vulnerable families including elderly, disabled, child headed families and military veterans in Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality. MEC Lusithi and Mayor Faku walked through the projects and were given reports on each project. Two of the housing projects, in N.U 18 and N.U 11 are an extension of Dimbaza 570 (490) project. The scope of the projects entails demolition and construction of 18 units in N.U 18 and 33 units in N.U 11.

The project is completed in N.U 18 while the other project is under construction. The third project visited is in N.U 16 which has all sites serviced and currently awaiting construction of the 1500 houses. “We have to check and see for ourselves if contractors are doing what they are supposed to do and if there are any interventions needed in building quality houses in order to restore the dignity of those families who are destitute, homeless and vulnerable,” said MEC Lusithi.

The Eastern Cape has now successfully unblocked 58 out of the 87 historically blocked projects.  These projects were blocked due to a number of reasons including poor contractor performance, issues related to the rural nature of certain areas and the unavailability of serviced sites. In BCMM, 3 out of the 4 blocked projects are now unblocked for construction of new houses that will restore the dignity of poverty-stricken communities.