Human settlements MEC Nonkqubela Pieters last week handed over two brand new houses to families in desperate need of proper housing.
The handover was in line with the Bringing the Legislature to the People programme that took place in the Chris Hani District Municipality last week.
Two elderly women benefited. The department of human settlement is now focusing on the elderly, disabled, military veterans and orphans who live in homes that are not in good condition.
Government is sending out municipal officials to re-prioritise their lists of building houses, with the help of ward councillors, to put the above-mentioned group of people at the top of the lists.
“There are two types of people – those who need houses and those who want houses. The government will focus on those who need homes. In the past we made the mistake of building houses for the youth who were still dependent on their parents and did not need houses yet.
“As a result they ended up selling the houses or renting them out and contining to stay at home. The department only picked this up late and is willing to rectify the mistake, hence in the re-prioritisation,” Pieters said.
She also mentioned that they received assistance from business owners and Sassa to donate furniture and food to the new owners.
In the Emalahleni Municipality, the department visited the home of 79-year-old Sesmaand Tuse, who lived in a shack with three unemployed children.
Sinesipho Baleni, Tuse’s grandchild, said she was happy that at last the government had come through for her family.
“I am grateful for what the department has done. Hopefully they will continue with many other homes in my community in the same situation,” said a tearful Baleni.
Nohombile Ngqayimbana, 99, who lived alone in the Sakhisizwe Local Municipality in Mgwalana Village in Cala, was very excited because she had been pleading for a new home for as long as she could remember.