Zuma returns to Sweetwaters

Monday, July 5, 2010

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma on Monday returned to Sweetwaters, an informal settlement, just outside of Johannesburg - this time to offer some relief to struggling families.

Zuma, who visited the area in May and was nearly brought to tears by the appalling living conditions in the area, handed over three houses to families there.

It was a dream come true for a family of eight when they received the keys to their first proper house after living in a shack for more than 20 years.

Lillian Ngomane, a 39-year-old mum, who is also HIV positive, was handed over a two bed-roomed house, which has been fitted with furniture, kitchen appliances and a new bed.

An emotional Ngomane said no words could describe her excitement. "No words can describe how blessed we are to be one of the housing beneficiaries," she said, adding that they have waited a long time.

Zuma, who was accompanied by Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale and Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyana, was welcomed by loud cheer and songs as residents gathered to witness the event.

The houses were built by African Musicians against HIV-Aids (Amaha). The musicians' organisation Amaha, which is led by kwaito singer Doc Shebeleza, supports the building of homes for poor families and alleviating other social ills.

Other musicians in Amaha include Stimela, Ringo Madlingozi, Rebecca Malope, Zola, Mdu, Solly Moholo, Deborah Fraser, Oleseng, Malaika, Kabelo, Ihashi Elimhlope, Bongo Maffin, Arthur Mafokate and Pitch Black Afro to name a few.