Veterans get new houses

Military veterans received government subsided houses from the Department of Human Settlements in Wesselton Ext 7 last Thursday.

Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Human Settlements, Mr Speedy Mashilo, was joined by the Executive Mayor of Msukaligwa, Mr Buti Mkhaliphi, to hand over 14 houses in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The programme also included the issuing of 1 283 title deeds to beneficiaries.

The veterans are being honoured for their immense and peaceful contribution towards the liberation of the country.

Also Read: Uitzicht Farm gets houses from Human Settlements

Mr Mashilo appreciated them for their incomparable commitment and dedication to stand against all in serving the country with passion.

“Being in the military is challenging and requires a lot of courage, determination and a bit of bravery.

“What you have done for the country would never go unnoticed.

“We are proud of you hence the decision to intervene where you encounter challenges,” remarked Mr Mashilo.

He professed the department decided to build for the veterans since most of them left their homes at an early age, only to come back to live in slums.

Mr Mashilo declared that as part of their decision to encourage healthy living in sustainable integrated human settlements, they are working in conjunction with the Department of Military Veterans to ensure that the lives of all struggling former military veterans are improved.

One of the excited beneficiaries is Mr Mthembeni Khumalo (50) who was delighted to receive help from government and conceded that his life would never be the same again.

“The feeling of having my own house is amazing and makes me feel like a real man.

“I am happy and wish to thank my government for restoring my dignity,” he said.

Another was widowed Ms Ntombifuthi Lukhele (36) who received her house because she was registered as a beneficiary to her late husband.

The beneficiaries also received household items such as stoves and kitchen cupboards from donors. The 14 units project is being incorporated into the new extension of the municipality which has so far delivered 140 units through the integrated residential development programme (IRDP).

The department has an approved an implementation plan to deliver on a number of services during the current financial year.

These include 8 358 housing units, 4053 sites, 26 000 title deeds, 208 Community Residential Units (CRUs) and 87 houses for military veterans.

The municipality, working together with Human Settlements, began building integrated low cost houses on the land in August.

The low-cost house beneficiaries were selected from the housing waiting list through processes and criteria which include, being a lawful resident in South Africa, 18 years of age or older and not previously having benefited from a state housing subsidy including spouse.

The recipient will be a first-time owner of a property and must be in a household with a total household income less than R3 500 per month. People have moved into the houses at Ext 7 with the house consisting of a kitchen, two bedrooms, a bathroom and lounge area.

Infrastructure has been installed with the community using water tanks.

However, electrical connections are yet to be connected.

Ext 7 has been a bone of contention for the municipality and various communities and political groups.

Early in May, residents invaded the land after the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members urged them to take land by force.

The Middle Class Earners Committee and its members also wanted a stake in Ext 7.

They picketed outside the entrance to the Msukaligwa municipal offices at the Civic Centre over land distribution last month.


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Amanda Mthembu

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