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Housing project brings joy to KZN pensioner

Written by Noluthando Mkhize
Pensioner Mafiki Mbambo has waited a long time for her dream to come true. At 75, Mbambo finally has a proper house to live in.

The is one of the beneficiaries of the R110 million KwaDube Rural Housing Project in KwaZulu-Natal.

Halfway through the project, more than 700 houses have been completed, giving homes to 1 500 people.

Mbambo believes it’s her vote that helped her get a new house.

“Ever since 1994, I have making sure that I make my voice heard in how I want this country to be governed, even when some of my neighbours were telling me that voting doesn’t help. I think it helped me and today I have a home.”

The overjoyed Mbambo, who hails from Ndindima, near Esikhaleni, says owning a home is a dream come true for her.

She used to live in a shack in an informal settlement and before that home was the mud house her late husband had built.

“During winter it was very cold at times. We had to light a fire in the house, which was dangerous because the house could have burnt down.

“The rainy season was worse because my home would be washed away by the rains and my three children and I would have to rebuild the shack,” she adds.

According to the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Human Settlements, over the past 20 years more than 500 000 houses have been built in the province.

The department has spent close to R500 million in housing projects ranging from upgrading informal settlements, community residential units (formerly single sex hostels) to rural and affordable housing projects.

Nationally, the democratic government has delivered approximately 3.7 million subsidised housing opportunities for the very poor, giving a home to approximately 12.5 million people. This is according to the Twenty Year Review, recently released by the Presidency.

“Fifty-six per cent of all subsidies allocated have been to woman-headed households, engendering housing in South Africa like in no other country,” the review adds. One of those woman-headed households is Mbambo’s.

The new homeowner says she is proud to see the country progress and hopes the next 20 years would bring more development to South Africa.