Govt delegation lends an ear to Mbekweni residents

Friday, July 20, 2012

Deputy Minister in the Presidency, responsible for Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation, Obed Bapela led the delegation, which included Human Settlements Deputy Minister Zou Kota-Fredericks, Sports and Recreation Deputy Minister Gert Oosthuizen, Government Communication and Information System CEO Jimmy Manyi and local leaders.

Friday's visit came after Minister in the Presidency, responsible for Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane, visited the Mbekweni area earlier this year.

During Friday's visit, Bapela and the delegation stopped by at a housing project in Mbekweni and inspected the home that Katrina Paulsen shares with her family.

"I appreciate that they (the delegation) came here to see how we live. It's a small house and nine of us sleep here. I hope that one day my children will be able to sleep on beds," Paulsen said.

Ntombozuko Chitha told the deputy ministers that her concern was unemployment.

"I'm happy that I have a house but I also need a job," she said.

Other residents complained about the roofs and leakages in their houses. Bapela advised the residents to take care of the houses they had been given.

He noted that those who benefited from the houses had come from poor conditions and had been living in farms and shacks previously.

"They have moved from [bad] conditions to better conditions here..." said Bapela.

He acknowledged the problems raised by the residents, saying the MEC, mayor and contractors were also on site to note them, and efforts would be made to address them.

Bapela also called for greater interaction between those conducting the developments and those who would benefit from them.

Fredericks urged residents to make use of the services provided by the Thusong Service Centres and to organise themselves within their communities to create their own job opportunities.

The delegation also visited the Thusong Service Centre to view people accessing government services and was expected to interact with other members of the community.

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