It was a momentous day for Masiphumelele residents who became property owners for the first time after receiving the keys to their new state-subsidised homes on Thursday from the City of Cape Town.
There were tears and laughter as mayoral committee member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, and ward councillor and mayoral committee member for transport, Felicity Purchase, handed the keys over to elderly beneficiaries who had been on the City’s housing list for many years.
A total of 85 beneficiaries moved in last week to homes that are part of the 227-unit Masiphumelele Phase 4 housing project.
Nontshizane Vena was all smiles as she received her keys. She said she had been on the City’s housing list for about 17 years and had lived with her cousin while waiting for a house.
“I’m so happy to have my own house,” she said.
Nongile Ntshikila formerly lived in the wetlands and said she was looking forward to warm, dry winters.
She had been on the housing list since 1999.
Rose Pithsadi fought back tears as she received her keys.
“I am so happy,” she said through her tears.
She said she had been on the City’s housing list for many years and could not believe that she would be spending the night in her own house.
TheR85millionproject included bulk earthworks, internal civil engineering services for the provision of water, sanitation and roads, electricity and street lighting, said Mr Booi.
As with all housing projects, he said, various inspections were done to ensure the quality of the homes met the required building-regulation standards.
Beneficiariesalsoattended homeowners’ consumer education workshops to learn about the roles and responsibilities of being a property owner.
Ms Purchase thanked the community for working with the City over the years to ensure the success of the housing project.
“There are many challenges in Masiphumelele, but only with the support of the community are we able to improve the living conditions of our residents. This housing project, as with all City projects, was absolutely dependent on community support and cooperation,” she said.
Mr Booi said it was pleasing to see first-time homeowners receiving their keys and moving into their new homes so successfully.
“It’s especially meaningful as the word Masiphumelele means ‘let us succeed’ in isiXhosa. Today, we have seen that when we all work together, we can succeed. It has been about more than handing over of keys. These homes will improve the living conditions of these beneficiaries and make a difference to the lives of our most vulnerable residents by empowering them as property owners,” he said.