On Tuesday, 24 May 2016 the Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Bonginkosi Madikizela and Executive Mayor of the Overstrand Municipality, Nicolette Botha-Guthrie handed over the keys to a group of proud new home owners of the Mount Pleasant and Swartdamweg Site A Housing Project in Hermanus.
For 68-year old Jim Robertson, and his 73-year old wife Sebina, the event marked an end to a wait of almost two decades. An emotional Sebina said, “This is a dream come true. To have a proper roof over our heads and to know it really does belong to us, means so much.”
A sentiment that was echoed by special needs beneficiary, Clara Mouries (67) who could barely contain her joy. “My prayers have been answered. After my stroke I struggled, but here I have a bathroom fitted with a rail; the ramp to my door also makes it easier to get around. I’m so proud to have a decent house to call home,” stated the visibly emotional Mouries.
Having a house to pass down to their children, is what kept the hope of eventually receiving a Government-assisted home alive for long-time Hermanus dwellers, Maria and Daniel Alexander.
“We’ve been on the Housing Allocation List for almost 30 years. Now the day has finally come that we can stand tall in front of our kids. This will ensure a much better and secure future for them.”
On delivering her speech, Overstrand Mayor Nicolette Botha-Guthrie thanked the community, councillors, ward committees and social compact committees for their patience, support and trust in allowing the Department and Municipality to successfully deliver the housing project, through implementing agent Motlekar.
“That we were able to not only yield 220 good quality Breaking New Ground (BNG) units, but have done so within the prescribed budget of R37.5 million and by the completion date of 31 March 2016, is testimony to the commitment and constructive working relationship between all the respective parties,” enthused Botha-Guthrie.
In his keynote address the Minister pointed out that prioritising the elderly and disabled is the Department’s primary focus, saying “State-subsidised houses should only be given to the most deserving. Those people who’ve been on the Housing Allocation List for many years, the older folk and members of the community with special needs – they’re the ones we must concentrate our efforts on.”