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A house to call home

Written by Silusapho Nyanda

Government has eased the burden for another 42 Western Cape residents by providing them with their own home.

Cassidy September (10) finally has her own bedroom and backyard to play in, thanks to the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements that has given her mother, September (44), a two bedroom-house.

The house in Forest Village, in Eerste River, was handed over to an excited September at the end of May. Elizabeth September stands outside of her new home donated by the Western Cape Human Settlements department.

September said having her own house means that her asthma will not trouble her as much as the roof won’t leak. “I am very happy. It will be much better for me and it will be a positive thing… In winter, when the rain starts, my asthma is very bad,” she said.

September explained that she has rented a shack in someone’s backyard for the past 16 years and, when it rained heavily, the shack leaked. She and Cassidy had to place buckets all over the floor to stop the rain from flooding her home.

The newly-built house has a backyard for Cassidy and the family’s dog to play in and September will create a small garden for her family.

Previously an office cleaner, September now lives off a disability grant. She is happy that she will be able to save money as she no longer has to pay R250 rent and R400 electricity a month.

September’s house is one of 42 that the department handed over on the day. “I applied for the house in 2000 and went to the department’s office frequently to remind them,” said September.

Another beneficiary, Magdalena Thapel (56), is also elated as she too now no longer has to rent a shack.

Western Cape Human Settlements MEC Tertuis Simmers said that the department is working hard to reverse the housing backlog in the province. “I’d like to remind our beneficiaries that they now have a responsibility to take care of their homes. I look forward to returning to the area to hand over more houses and engage with the community.”

The department said that five percent of the project was dedicated to people with
special needs and the houses have wheelchair ramps and railing.