Lekwa Local Municipality Executive Mayor Cllr Lindokuhle Dhlamini together with the Mpumalanga MEC for Human Settlements Mr Speedy Mashilo handed over 500 of the Breaking New Grounds (BNG) houses in the Lekwa Local Municipality to government subsidized beneficiaries on Thursday (29th December 2016). The handover took place at the newly established settlement in Sakhile Extension 8 which comprises of the majority of people that lived at the local hostels in the area.
The Executive Mayor, Cllr Linda Dhlamini and the MEC told the community to take good care of their houses and never sell them for a quick cash scheme. “There are still a lot of underlying problems in this settlement ranging from accessible roads and electricity however we are working firmly to ensure that such challenges are addressed in no time,” said Mashilo.
He told the beneficiaries that the Department could not wait any longer with the houses unoccupied due to the high level of vandalism, theft and so many break-ins that was happening in the settlement: “In order to avoid these we thought that we should allow all rightful beneficiaries to take occupation of their houses because there were already people looking to invade these houses.
One of the beneficiaries Ms Martha Mchunu (58) expressed her gratitude to the two government institutions for changing her life for the better after spending many years living in a shack at Nkanini informal settlement. In her attempt to relate her plight, she said, “The conditions were horrible. It was difficult to withstand raining seasons because the house would leak from all four corners posing a threat to our lives.
Sharing the same sentiments with Mchunu was Mr Timothy Maboa who has since become blind as a result of a car accident he was involved in back in 1984. The 78 year-old Maboa revealed that living in a shack as a blind person is deadly and nerve-racking. “There was no electricity and we depended on a candle or the paraffin floor lamp for light. This made me feel uncomfortable for my entire stay in that shack. I am grateful that our government has made it possible for us to live our lives better and in decent places today,” said Maboa with a grateful voice.
The project has delivered these low cost houses with a budget of R51 million and installed internal engineering services through the Integrated Residential Development Programme (IRDP) which incorporates water, sanitation and roads infrastructure.
Executive Mayor Linda Dhlamini urged the community to work hand-in-glove with the municipality in order to identify and correct the grey areas that still needed to be completed in the settlement. He however expressed joy to the excited faces that came in numbers to receive their new houses: “It is exciting to see the elderly dancing their way into the new houses. As a municipality together with the Department of human Settlement, we are very resolute to ensuring that our people live in habitable conditions with decent shelter.”