Mthuthuzeli Nukani, who was among the residents who received the keys to their houses from Ward 98 councillor Anele Gabuza, says for more than 40 years he had been living in a dirty and dilapidated shack and had lost hope of owning a decent house.
However, he was filled with joy last Friday when Mr Gabuza handed homes over to 22 beneficiaries of the Harare Infill Project which is set to benefit 483 beneficiaries.
Mr Nukani, a 67-year-old father of three, said he registered for the housing subsidy in 1998 and since then had been living in hope that he would eventually get a house.
He said at some point in his life he lost everything and had to beg people to assist him. “I thank God for this decent house that I have received in the twilight years of my life. I will now sleep in peace and comfortable unlike before when my shack was leaking.
“I knew that every time winter kicks in, it will be a struggle as my bed and clothes would get wet. I have no words to describe how I feel about this and I’m battling to contain my emotions,” he said.
Mr Gabuza said the project would provide 483 homes for backyarders from around Harare and Khayelitsha, with 90% going to people from Harare and the remaining 10% to those from other parts of Khayelitsha.
He said it was critical that they delivered on their promises because their mandate as ward councillors or government representative was to bring service to the people.
He asked the community to allow the process to run its course.
“For now, we handed over 22 homes. We expect to hand over another 22 later this month and then 51 in May,” he said.
“We are handing over those that have already been completed so we will continue to do so until all 483 homes have been allocated. We hope that this project could be completed without any hindrances because that affects the issue of meeting our deadlines.”
Backyarder Thandiwe Ntlonti, 40, who also received a house, said since her childhood she had been staying in a shack and was over the moon to get a new home.
The mother of two said she applied for a house in 2005 and all these years she had been patiently waiting for the house.