Elderly and disabled moved to temporary houses

Bay human settlements political head Andile Mfunda hands over the keys of a temporary home to Thobile Saza, who was relocated from the Ramaphosa informal settlement
NEW HOPE: Bay human settlements political head Andile Mfunda hands over the keys of a temporary home to Thobile Saza, who was relocated from the Ramaphosa informal settlement
Image: WERNER HILLS

“I had given up hoping that my coffin would be carried out of a brick house, but now that we have been moved to these temporary housing structures that hope has been reborn.” 

These were the words of Nosisi Ntshebe, 67, who was part of a group of elderly and disabled people who were on Thursday moved from appalling living conditions into temporary structures. 

The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality relocated the elderly and disabled people from densely populated shacks into 10 temporary housing structures as part of its Covid-19 de-densification programme.

More than 1,000 temporary structures are expected to be provided during the latter part of this financial year and the beginning of the next financial year, according to the municipality.

Bay human settlements political head Andile Mfunda said the people were placed in serviced sites in Motherwell NU29.

 “We are in communication with the national, provincial and municipal human settlement offices,” Mfunda said.

“We are busy not only helping the Motherwell area, all areas across the metro will benefit.

“This is our means of following the president, the premier and minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s call [for de-densification].” 

Mfunda said the programme was two-fold in fighting the spread of Covid-19 within the most vulnerable groups and realising the department of human settlements’ housing allocation policy.

According to Mfunda, the policy favours the most vulnerable.

“These will be their sites. There will be water, mobile toilets ... the infrastructure is ready [and] when the time for them to have their houses built comes, they’ll be built here.

“To give people land is a priority for us,” Mfunda said.

Ntshebe, from Chris Hani, said she wanted to thank God for the temporary house.

She has lived in the  area for more than 23 years and when she had a stroke in 2006 she was confined to a wheelchair.

Ntshebe said she had feared that when she died she would still be living in a shack and it would be from there her coffin was removed.

She said now that she was in the temporary home, she once again had hope that she would one day live in a proper brick house.

Kholiwe  Sito, 68, said she had lived in Chris Hani in a shack near a dumping site. 

Thobile Saza and his wife Thenjiwe Mgaba, both 52, said they had been looking forward to a house for the more than 15 years they had lived in the Ramaphosa informal settlement, where they used the bucket system and people disposed of their waste behind their home.


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