Needy families receive houses

2016-02-03 06:00
ONE of the houses that were handed over. Photos: Supplied

ONE of the houses that were handed over. Photos: Supplied

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THE dreams of spending Christmas and the new year in a house was turned into reality for at least eight deserving families from Nababeep in December 2015.

That is after Standard Bank partnered with the families’ local municipality to identify some of the most deserving people on the lengthy housing waiting list and sponsored their houses.

The disabled, elderly and orphaned children left to care for their siblings were prioritised.

The procedure resulted in the building of eight bank-sponsored homes that will change lives forever through Standard Bank’s national HouseBuild Project.

According to Standard Bank’s assessment, of all the socio-economic issues facing South Africa, having a place they can call home is identified as possibly the most challenging issue.

Factors such as distance, infrastructure and a lack of funding make conditions even more difficult in remote areas.

The bank added that, in these identified areas, people could often spend years on municipal waiting lists as the local government battled to clear backlogs in the provision of housing, infrastructure and services.

“It is then that assistance from the private sector can make all the difference,” said Mercia Bloem, the provincial head at the bank in the Northern Province.

She highlighted the bank’s excitement of working with Northern Cape premier Sylvia Lucas, and the local municipality of Springbok to show progress when a private or public sector partnership was formed for the common good.

Bloem pointed out that poverty was a major problem. In addition to socio-economic issues such as a lack of formal education, health problems and unemployment, the pressures on local authorities to assist in the rural areas of the Northern Cape are multiplied.

“When it comes to housing, the issue is just who should be helped first? Generally, the answer is the most vulnerable, which is the elderly and child-headed households,” she said.

Adding that Standard Bank in the Northern Cape has always regarded itself as part of the community in this widespread province, Bloem emphasised: “We therefore consider it a privilege to demonstrate our commitment by participating in community ventures. We offer support wherever we can by participating in programmes that offer opportunities for the quality of life of people to be improved.”

Bloem explained that they identified with the Constitution of South Africa that recognised the right for all to have decent housing and expressed her pride to be part of a project that had literally opened the doors to people whose lives would change for the better.

“We wish the new homeowners health and prosperity as they begin their lives in homes of their own.”

Standard Bank also assisted learners in Sutherland by sponsoring school uniforms and shoes and the installation of air conditioners to provide a pleasant classroom environment for the kids, who were previously at the mercy of extreme summer and winter conditions.

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