New houses for former farm workers

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pretoria - Former farm workers of the impoverished Mazista and Skierlik informal settlements have become the first beneficiaries of a multimillion human settlements project.

Human Settlement's Minister Tokyo Sexwale handed over 200 housing units to the former farm workers near Swartruggens in the North West province on Thursday.

The handover was the first phase of a R51.6 million human settlement development project.

Emily Moiphitlhi, 59, was one of the first to take ownership of a house. Moiphitlhi's daughter and granddaughter were murdered in a racially motivated shooting at the Skierlik informal settlement in 2008.

In addition to the house and food garden, Lerato Lefatshe, 21, was also presented with food parcels. Since the death of her parents last year, Lefatshe has been caring for her four siblings and her son.

Lefatshe said the house was a new lease on life and had also brought her hope for a new beginning.

Speaking at the event, Sexwale said Human Settlements were about access to proper roads, electricity, clinic and schools and restoring hope and dignity to the previously downtrodden, marginalised, homeless and poor.

Modise also announced other projects that would support a vibrant and sustainable human settlement. This includes the electrification of the settlement; the erection of high mast lights; the construction of a sports stadium and school; a food production project; and the provision of mobile health facilities.

The 52 hectares of land that kick-started the project was donated by the Roelof Brits, managing director of Country Slate, the North West Department of Human Settlements said.

The quality of the 45 square meter houses has been endorsed by the National Home Builders Registration Council and carries a five year warrantee

The council will be obliged to repair structural defects and or cracks that might occur on the houses in the next five years.

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