A Gugulethu family whose house was guttered by fire a last year, shortly before Christmas, will celebrate this year’s festive season in their new home.
On Thursday December 7, the Mfobela family moved out of relatives’ houses into their very own home after a year in the wilderness, thanks to Deputy Minister of Rural Development, Mcebisi Skwatsha.
Shortly after the incident last year, Mr Skwatsha teamed up with various companies to rebuild the Mfobela house in NY112 which mysteriously burnt down on Friday December 16.
The family then approached Mr Skhwatsha for help.
On Thursday the family’s tears were wiped away. They got the keys to their new home and were happy despite the furniture not being delivered on time.
Speaking at the handover, an emotional Lindelwa Mfobela said the house was an early Christmas gift for her and her family.
“I have no words to express my happiness. The respect I was given by all involved in the project is unbelievable.
“It was like they owe me something while I was the one in the corner.
“They updated me with each and every progress. They even opened up a WhatsApp group. Mr Skwatsha was always encouraging me not to give up. I am overwhelmed. This is the best Christmas gift ever,” she said.
Mr Skwatsha said their duty as leaders was to change people’s lives. He lashed out at the leaders who ignored residents.
He said leaders should know that it was a privilege to have positions in parliament and in the municipality.
Mr Skwatsha also apologised to the family about the delay. They had initially promised to build the house in less than two months.
“It has taken a long time. We would have loved to see the family in earlier. But through circumstances beyond us we could not. But it is better late than never. I want to say to the family it is not always dark.
“Last Christmas they had tears of sadness, but this Christmas they will have tears of joy,” he said.
He appealed to the community of Gugulethu to be united, love each other and support one another.
He said through supporting each other, good things would come their way.
The construction company that rebuilt the house, Power Group, said the project was a sign of responsibility.
Neil De Beer, of the Nedebe Foundation, said he was happy to be part of the rebuilding process. “A while ago we stood here.
“There was nothing here, but rubble. We had to rebuild the house because all the walls were broken. Today we brought good hope to the family and the people of Gugulethu.
“We delayed the house because we wanted to give them a home. We took a long walk but today it is the end of that walk,” he said.
Mr De Beer praised Mr Skwatsha. He said without his bravery, the house would not have been made possible.