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Families receive RDP houses after two decades wait

RDP houses in Ikageng, Tlokwe, in this file picture used as an illustration. A group of backyard dwellers in Gauteng have been beneficiaries of RDP homes after waiting for 20 years.
RDP houses in Ikageng, Tlokwe, in this file picture used as an illustration. A group of backyard dwellers in Gauteng have been beneficiaries of RDP homes after waiting for 20 years.
Image: Tsheko Kabasia

Mercy Ndabezitha, a disabled single mother, was among a group of Daveyton backyard dwellers who have became home owners after two decades of waiting for RDP houses. 

Ndabezitha, 48, who was allocated her house on Monday, said she was excited to finally own a decent home.

"I have been on a wheelchair all my life and as a result I could not afford to buy myself a house. I was staying in a backroom shack with my four children," she said.

The excited mother was found kneeling on the floor cleaning and settling in at her new home.

"My children are happy to finally have a place to call home and I'm very grateful to have a dignified home after years of struggling and fighting over a family house."

Petros Mthembusaid his dignity has been restored as a family man.

"Because I had no place of my own, I lived in a two-roomed shack with my children, who had to sleep on the floor because there was no space," he said.

Mthembu, 59, said he feels like he has been given a fresh start in his life because of the allocation into his new home.

"The houses are very beautiful although they are small, we appreciate them because nothing was as painful as being crowded in a small shack with children without privacy."

Abram Mdaka, 64, said getting the house meant a peace of mind from being insulted by younger family members and siblings over the house. 

"I remember being told to vacate the house with my wife and children and I was so hurt because I'm unemployed and that had made me feel like I was failing my children."

An evicted Emily Masango, 35,  who had been part of the families that invaded the houses in Chief Albert Luthuli Ext 6, said she and others were evicted two weeks ago by the Ekurhuleni metro police department. 

"We had been given notice to get out of the houses, but because we were desperate for housing, we just forcefully stayed," she said.

Masango said many like her are victims of corruption in the housing department. "We applied long ago, but we were not approved. What makes it worse is seeing people who were approved waiting all their lives."

Another new owner, Gabrielle Ndlovu, said he had already upgraded the house and tiling it from his own pocket. 

"We fought to be allowed to stay here, but the courts failed us by granting the eviction order after giving us hope. "

Ekurhuleni housing MMC Lesiba Mpya said the eviction order was granted last week Monday and permission was granted for evictions. 

"We have a target of evicting 202 occupants out of which 48 have been effective. 

"We still have more houses to recover and this exercise has helped us to show the community of Daveyton that we will not tolerate criminality. "

Mpya said the allocations are ongoing until the process is complete to give the houses to the rightful beneficiaries. 

"We are prioritising 1996 and 1997 applications, the elderly and vulnerable people first and we want those who are still resisting to move out that we are coming for them because they have no housing subsidy approvals."

Mpya said police have been deployed in the area 24 hours a day to ensure peace and the safety of the allocated persons from the evicted individuals. 

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