Disadvantaged to benefit from govt housing
Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza has called on municipal officials in the province to prioritise the elderly and child-headed families when they issue government houses.
During his visit in a number of the villages in the Dr J S Moroka and Thembisile Hani municipalities yesterday, Mabuza discovered many elderly people who were disadvantaged from getting government houses.
He said it was unacceptable that the elderly people would even die before they could own their houses from the government they fought so hard for, because they do not have “connections” with government officials.
Most of the beneficiaries he identified were the elderly people whose shacks and mud-houses were sometimes surrounded by the government houses.
“I do not understand how come some destitute families are surrounded by RDP houses when their shacks could fall on them at any time. It raises many questions as to why they were left out when anybody can see that they deserved RDP houses.
“It looks like government houses have eyes. It is like they choose where they want to be built obviously at the expense of the deserving elderly impoverished people. Let us prioritise the deserving elderly instead of our friends and relatives,” said Mabuza.
The Premier visited villages such as Phake, Mammetlhake, Seabe, Kwaggafontein, Tweefontein, Matimpule, Bundu and Siyabuswa amongst others.
During his visits, he identified 32 households that would get sponsored houses from his legacy project to build houses for the poorest of the poor.
Supported by businessmen and private companies, the initiative started in June this year and more than 100 people have benefited so far. Yesterday cellphone giant, MTN, join the likes of Putco, Megabus, MCC Security and Projects and other businesses to assit Mabuza reach his goal.
MTN committed to build 20 houses which would be completed in a month's time.
At Matimpule near Marapyane, Mabuza met a blind and crippled 94-year old Ms Maria Santu who had lived in a shack for most of her life and committed to build a three bed-room house for her and her family.
He further organized a wheelchair, spectacles and a medical doctor to attend to her health before her house could be handed over to her.
While in Seabe, also near Marapyane, Mabuza did not believe his eyes when he found a child-headed family whose elder youngster, a 26-year Annah Marakalala had six children from five fathers with no house and food.
Premier gave her R500 for them to buy food as the kids were weak from hunger.
Marakalala said although five of her children received child-social grants from government, life was extremely difficult for them especially when it rained as they did not have a house and clothes.
"These people are exploiting poverty, it is here where we must come in as a provincial government and change their situation. As a government we are trying our best; however we are not fast enough mainly because of the lack of the resources," said mabuza.
"What I am doing here is but one creative way of intervening to speedily assist few citizens with the help of the kind business people. This initiative is gaining the momentum, many business people want to come on board because they see the need to improve the lives for the better.
“They understand that some social problems for our people are deep-seated and they come from far. I am doing this because I am driven by the desire to solve some problems for our people,” said Mabuza.