Nyanga backyarders receive houses

City of Cape Town mayor Dan Plato addressing the housing beneficiaries in Nyanga. With him on his right is Miranda Ngculu sub-council 14 chairperson Thandi Makasi and on the left is Malusi Booi, mayco member for human settlements.

Nyanga backyarders have been waiting for proper houses, water and electricity for more than 30 years. But last week that long wait came to an end for the recipients of state-subsidised Breaking New Ground (BNG) houses.

On Wednesday July 24 mayor Dan Plato, human settlements Mayco member Malusi Booi, Ward 37 councillor Luyanda Nyingwa, Miranda Ngculu Sub-council 14 chairperson Thandi Makasi, and other dignitaries made their way into newly built houses on Sibeni Street, Mau Mau, to cut the ribbon and hand over the keys to some of the residents of the informal settlement.

The City of Cape Town built 432 state-subsidised Breaking New Ground (BNG) houses for the backyarders from the surrounding areas of Nyanga like Mau-Mau and Zwelitsha. The recipients are mostly the elderly and those living with disabilities.

As he handed over the keys to the new owners, Mr Plato urged them to take care of their new homes. “They need to enjoy their houses and look after them. These houses must be protected. Today is a precious day that must be celebrated,” he said.

“It is an honour to be handing over homes to our qualifying beneficiaries who have become property owners, for the first time, after waiting patiently on the housing database for many years.

“As they start this new chapter, we wish them and their families all the best.

“Owning a home gives some of our most vulnerable residents a sense of security and the restoration of dignity. Beyond this project, we as the City of Cape Town, will work harder to ensure that we speed up delivery,” he said.

Mr Booi said the R90 million housing project on the Nyanga site, would provide housing opportunities to 434 beneficiaries and their families by March 2020, if all went according to plan.

He urged the owners to insure their properties. “I am happy that the houses are electrified. We thought we can no longer provide houses with no electricity. The owners need to insure these house for any eventuality so that they will be able to recoup their losses,” he said.

Bukelwa Mfobo, 61, who has been on the housing waiting list for 30 years, said it was unbelievable that she finally owned a house. “My first born is 32 years old now and he was born in a backyard. I am overexcited with the news. This is truly unbelievable,” she said.

Mr Nyingwa thanked the people of Nyanga and the beneficiaries in particular, for their patience.

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