Ace reaches out to elderly

2016-08-03 06:00
ACE MAGASHULE, the Free State premier, and Rob Davies, minister of Trade and Industry, speak to the visually impaired Elizabeth Tho­tsela (69). Photos: Teboho Setena

ACE MAGASHULE, the Free State premier, and Rob Davies, minister of Trade and Industry, speak to the visually impaired Elizabeth Tho­tsela (69). Photos: Teboho Setena

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THE Free State premier Elias Ace Magashule has ordered the construction company building RDP houses in Soutpan to prioritise those of elderly people.

This is after finding that the houses of two elderly women, Elizabeth Thotsela (69), who is visually impaired, and Merriam Phake (83), were incomplete.

Magashule visited the two elderly women on Wednesday (27/07) in the Soutpan Township of Ikgomotseng as part of the provincial government outreach programme, Operation Hlasela.

The premier was accompanied by an entourage consisting of Sam Mashinini (MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs), Pule Tate Makgoe (MEC for Education), Olly Mlamleli (MEC for Local Government and Human Settlement), Mathabo Leeto (MEC for Sport and Recreation) and Rob Davies (minister of Trade and Industry).

Thotsela, who lives with her son and granddaughter, said she has been renting a four-roomed house for over a year now while waiting for the construction of her state-funded RDP house.

She said her two-roomed house was demolished early in 2015 after the provincial government had approved her application as a beneficiary for a four-roomed house, 54 m2 in size.

The two-roomed house was too small to accommodate her family and Thotsela said the conditions had been a concern.

Although Thotsela was disappointed at having had to wait for more than a year, she expressed joy at Magashule’s courtesy visit and firm stance that her house should be completed.

“I cannot wait any longer to return to my house, because I’m spending R200 monthly to pay rent. You can imagine that I have to survive on a state old age grant and I’m very happy with Premier Magashule’s effort,” said Thotsela.

Construction of the house began recently and is nearing completion.

Phake, who has been furthering her education through the Adult Basic Education and Training (Abet) programme at a local centre, is delighted that her dilapidated three-roomed house will be replaced by a four-roomed house, also 54 m2 in size.

She spoke fluent English and Afrikaans with Magashule and Davies during the outreach.

“I’m happy that finally I’ll have a decent house. I could not even upgrade it, because I cannot afford it as a state old age grant beneficiary,” said Phake.

Magashule said Phake’s perseverance in continuing studying should be motivation enough for the youth.

“I’m impressed that people see education as the very key for development and for self-empowerment,” said Magashule.

The two women also recieved blankets and gas heaters donated by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).

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