New homes for informal dwellers

2019-06-19 06:02
The first beneficiary Mpisemoyeni Gumede(left) welcomes officials at his house, MEC Peggy Nkonyeni(second, from left) and the Mayor of Umvoti Municipality Thamsanqa Ngubane.

The first beneficiary Mpisemoyeni Gumede(left) welcomes officials at his house, MEC Peggy Nkonyeni(second, from left) and the Mayor of Umvoti Municipality Thamsanqa Ngubane.

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EMOTIONS ran high when MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works Peggy Nkonyeni handed over the first 100 houses to shack dwellers on the outskirts of Greytown on Tuesday, June 11.

Women ululated, danced and some wept when Nkonyeni, together with the Mayor of Umvoti Municipality, Thamsanqa Ngubane, handed over the title deeds to beneficiaries at Lindelani Sport Field.

The Greytown Slums Clearance Project is aimed at eradicating the mushrooming of shacks in the province and relocating people into decent homes.

The new beneficiaries were relocated to Phase 1 — which was composed of a total of 513 houses. This has cost the department R60,6 million.

Phase 2 of the project, with 514 houses, will cost the department R63,7 million.

The first beneficiary, Mpisemoyeni Gumede (77), said the past eight years have been misery for his family.

“I lived in Lindelani informal settlement for eight years and I was subjected to unpleasant living conditions. It has always been my dream to one day have a house.

“I would like to thank the MEC and the leadership under Mayor Ngubane in the Umvoti Municipality for making my dream come true,” Gumede said.

Nkon­yeni said the department assisted with water supply to the new houses.

The houses have been left vacant after completion for quite some time.

“We are going to demolish shacks after the houses have been [allocated] to everyone.

“We do not want to see shacks in Umvoti again,” Nkonyeni said.

Prior to the hand-over, one shack was demolished at the Lindelani informal settlement to show the dwellers that the mud houses in the squatter camp will be destroyed.

Ngubane said, as per the Freedom Charter, the government vowed to provide the people with proper community services.

Nkonyeni said Members of Parliament had conducted an oversight visit in Umvoti areas and saw the slums.

He thanked the MPs who had experienced first-hand the unpleasant conditions that informal dwellers are subjected to in order to help the residents.

“The MPs promised shack dwellers that the government was planning to provide them with new houses.

“During our door-to-door election campaign, people mentioned three things to the officials: unemployment, poverty and economic inequality.

“We thank the ANC-led government for taking care of the residents.

“As the department, we are pleased that a project of this magnitude created job opportunities. This is our contribution as the Department of Human Settlements towards decreasing unemployment,” she said.

Nkonyeni urged residents to procure products from local emerging businesses.

“We want to see the local people benefitting from the project. They should benefit during the process of the project.

“This is a new settlement. It is our responsibility as politicians to rename this settlement.

“We have our struggle heroes and heroines that made a remarkable strides in the democracy.

“We appeal to the residents to work with the government in fight against the mushrooming of shacks,” the MEC said.

Nkonyeni also promised residents that Eskom was working around the clock to electrify the new settlement.

She urged the unemployed youth to seize available opportunities and acquire skills training at FET colleges.

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