Gogo Ngcobo could not contain her excitement when eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda and Ward 3 Councillor Mpilenhle Mkhize gave her keys to her new house.
THERE were tears of joy and shouts of ululation when more than 17 families received the keys to their new homes from eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda as part of Mandela Day commemorations. Beaming with joy, the recipients said they were looking forward to a peaceful sleep and the privacy of their own homes.
On 18 July, Mayor Kaunda handed over five houses in wards 29 and 30 in Cato Manor to beneficiaries who were living under inhumane conditions. The beneficiaries were identified during the Operation Sukuma Sakhe Outreach programme. One of the recipients, Sibusiso Mgobhozi, was living at the SPCA transit camp with his wife and two grandchildren. “Because he is wheelchair bound, the Municipality had to build a house taking into consideration his special needs which included constructing a ramp for his wheelchair to allow him to leave the house and access the road without assistance,” said Mayor Kaunda.
Mgobhozi was overcome with emotion. “I’ve never experienced such happiness. My family and I are extremely grateful for this house which will be filled with joyful noise and laughter,” he said. On 15 July Mayor Kaunda handed over 12 houses to families in wards 3 and 108 in Inanda. The families had spent about three months at temporary shelters after their homes were washed away during the April floods. Gogo Ngcobo, one of the recipients, said her life-long dream of owning a house had been fulfilled. “I have no words for now. But thank you to everyone who made this possible,” she said, wiping away tears.
Mayor Kaunda said the beneficiaries were part of the uMqhawe Housing Project and the Storm Disaster Housing Project in the area. He said as part of the Municipality’s endeavours to fast-track the process of reintegrating flood victims currently housed in temporary shelters back to their communities, the City has opted to use the housing project to prioritise flood victims that were already linked to the project. The families were prioritised, and the rebuilding process was part of the City’s emergency response. “We had a substantial number of people whose homes were washed away during the April floods that were already linked with this housing project. We then engaged the contractors to shorten the building period but without compromising the quality.
We are happy to report that more than 12 families were given keys to their beautiful homes and they will no longer be staying in community halls,” said Mayor Kaunda. He added: “This is an indication that we are a government that delivers on its commitment to improving lives. These beneficiaries now have a roof over their heads and more importantly, their dignity has been restored.