The Human Settlements Department says it will soon launch a programme that provides land and allows for people to build their own homes. This is in a bid to alleviate the housing backlog.
The ministry handed over houses to military veterans and issued title deeds to the beneficiaries of fully subsidised government houses at Savannah City in Midvaal, south of Johannesburg.
It has been a long wait for 88-year-old Maria Manyaku, who finally set foot in a place she could call home.
“I have waited for so long; today I am grateful to finally receive my house. I was living in such poor conditions. This house is so beautiful and I vow to always keep it in its great condition,” she says.
Before this, Manyaku was renting a house with her son and employed as a domestic worker. Her new home and title deed now assures her stability.
Streets away, Mkhonto WeSizwe veteran Moeketsi Mokoro was also handed his new home after waiting for nearly 15 years. He says he was living with his mother and siblings.
“I was staying with my mom in her house with my sibling; my sisters, nephews and nieces. Starting from today I will be staying with my kids and my wife. I am very happy.”
Mokoro hopes that the process will be fast-tracked.
“They must continue to assist other soldiers who are desperate just like me. I know there are other soldiers who are desperate just like me. Please minister, help those comrades; it is my plea. But above all, I am happy.”
The Human Settlements Department Minister Lindiwe Sisulu inspected the sites and says more development is expected in the area.
“We are determined to make sure that military veterans who fought in the struggle get the decency that they deserve. We don’t have all of the facilities we need right now. By the time we are done, we will ensure that our people take their place in the Midvaal and society.”
Concerning the issue of bulging housing lists, Sisulu says that they will do away with the list system.
“We are soon going to unveil a programme where it will be possible for us to give land to people to build their own houses. In that way, we will be able to close the housing backlog because we are not coping with the demand and as the population grows, the list also continues growing…We are closing down the list. We have been in government for too long to continuously do the same thing and make the same mistakes without doing anything about it.”
The department says it will be setting up an office in the area to address issues on housing and services swiftly.
Department of Human Settlements to address housing backlog: