'I'm going to sleep peacefully tonight'
IT IS never too late to own a house, said 102-year-old Seleku Xhontana, of Mbekweni in Paarl, Western Cape
"I am going to sleep peacefully tonight. This is my first house at my age. I am very happy," said Xhontana.
He became the oldest beneficiary of an RDP house in the Dromadares project at Mbekweni.
Fifteen houses were handed over to beneficiaries by MEC for human settlements Bonginkosi Madikizela and the mayor of Drakenstein, Gesei van Deventer. A further 1500 units will be built as part of the project.
Van Deventer said the municipality had so far handed over 55 units.
"Our waiting list has more than 35000 people. I am happy to tell you that the first phase will be completed by the end June," said Van Deventer.
Madikizela commended the quality of the contractors' work and the speed at which they had completed the houses.
"Here we have no political parties. The important thing is to work together to develop our communities.
"My office and the national office are working hard to build houses. We have proven our commitment through this project.
"As government we need to prioritise the elderly and people with disabilities when we hand over the houses," Madikizela explained.
"I am happy with the list where elders like Tata Xhontana were given houses.
"I want to warn anyone who thinks of invading houses in this project that the law will take its course.
"We have also looked into the problem of backyard dwellers. At least 574 units in the project will be for backyard dwellers."
Xhontana was overcome with emotion when he spoke to Sowetan.
He thanked all the people who had made it possible for him and his family to get a house.
Secretary of the Mbekweni Backyard Dwellers Association Loyiso Sibelekwa said: "We are happy with the way things are happening.
"We are also happy with the number allocated to backyard dwellers."