’It is unbelievable … I now have a house’

Nosimo Siningwa opens her new house in Khayelitsha.

For many years, Nosimo Siningwa from SE Area lived with the pain of not having a suitable home in which to take care of her grandchildren.

Now, however, she sees some hope on the horizon.

Last week, when the City handed over the keys to the first of the 28 beneficiaries of the R134 million Harare Infill housing project, the 54-year-old was among them.

On Friday November 12, the City handed over homes to eight beneficiaries, with the rest of them due to get their’s during the course of this week. Once completed, 900 beneficiaries will be given State-subsidised homes.

Ms Siningwa told Vukani she had been waiting for a house since 2002, and when she was informed in March that her time had come, she said, “I had doubts, real doubts”.

“I thought to myself, I will only believe when I am signing the papers for the house and the house is right in front of me.”

However, when the day came she was overwhelmed with joy. “This is a dream come true to me. I have four children to raise. I was with my mother and could not do a proper job. I feel so happy that my prayers are answered. I have lived in my mother’s house for a long time,” she said.

Joy was written all over the face of another recipient, Nandi Sophangisa, who said she had been on the housing waiting list since 1996 and had lost hope of ever getting a house.

“I am excited to have a place my children could call home. We were crumpled in a house with 11 family members. But now here I am having my own place,” she said.

“I didn’t believe it when they came to say that we will be moved to our houses and I am one of those. I thought they were just after our votes. It is unbelievable that I now have a house,” she told Vukani.

Executive director of the City’s Human Settlements Directorate, Nolwandle Gqiba, said the project would see some of Cape Town’s most vulnerable residents becoming first-time property owners and create employment opportunities for the local community during the construction period.

She said the construction of the houses was a multi-year project for which a total R134.3 million had been budgeted.

Ms Gqiba said if all went according to plan, construction was expected to be completed by late 2022.

“The first 100 houses are planned to be handed over to beneficiaries before the end of this year.

“We remain committed to housing provision and will continue to make every effort to deliver more housing opportunities that will empower many more residents as property owners,” she said.

The new Harare Infill housing project will house more that 900 qualifying beneficiaries from around Khayelitsha.
Proud home owner Nandi Sophangisa at her house.