A home to call her own

Ntombi Bokwe shows ward councillor Anele Gabuza and Mayoral committee member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, how she lived before she received her house.

Ntombi Bokwe, who has been living at Endlovini informal settlement for more than 20 years, was over the moon as she received keys to her house last Thursday.

Ms Bokwe, 55, who is unemployed, was among the beneficiaries who had been yearning to receive their houses in Harare.

A total of 16 beneficiaries braved cold and drizzling weather to get their keys to their new homes. They were the most recent beneficiaries of the R154.4 million Harare Infill housing project.

Ms Bokwe had been sharing her dilapidated three-roomed shack with her two daughters and grandchildren who are also unemployed.

She said winter had always been a stressful time for her and her family because the shack leaked when it rained and they would get sick.

She had seen people moving into houses over the years and always wondered whether she would get the same opportunity.

“I always dreamt of having my own place and for a long time it seemed like a far-fetched dream because housing development in Endlovini looked like it would never happen.

“However, I am happy that I can see that dream become a reality and I hope God could give me more years so that I could live in my house.

“I was saying to my daughter the other day that we needed to buy zinc so that we could fix the leaking roof, not knowing that God had other plans,” she said.

Mayoral committee member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, said they are continuing handing over houses to qualifying families.

He said as the City they had budgeted R154 million for this housing project and they are looking at building 900 units. They have handed over 700 units so far.

He said the project started about two years ago and he is looking to complete it before the end of this year.

“The housing development is a great improvement around the informalities that you see in Khayelitsha.

“If we had not had the problem of land invasion we would have exceeded this current number because the project was expected to build around 1500 houses. Some of the land had been invaded in Makhaza meaning we have lost that land and the opportunities to create formal housing.

“We have taken a decision that once we give a house we demolish your shack and disconnect electricity and ensure that space which was occupied by the shack is left empty,” he said.

Mr Booi urged the public to refrain from land invasion as that deters them from creating more housing opportunities.

Ward 98 councillor, Anele Gabuza said it is always pleasing to see political differences being put aside and service delivery taking place.

Ward councillor Anele Gabuza and mayco member for Human Settlements Melusi Booi congratulates Ntombi Bokwe after receiving her house keys