NW hands over 200 houses to deprived families

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pretoria - The North West Human and Settlement Department has handed over 200 houses to deprived families in Mogwase in the Moses Kotane Municipality.

The families who benefited have been living in inhabitable areas next to the local railway line without basic services.

Addressing hundreds of people who gathered to witness the event on Saturday, North West MEC for Human Settlement Desbo Mohono said the Mogwase housing project, which will benefit over 1000 people, is part of the provincial government's initiative to deal with the estimated 4 000 housing backlog in the province.

"My department has a responsibility to provide houses to our people, many of whom are poor and unemployed," said Mohono.

She urged municipalities to give first preference to older people when registering beneficiaries for houses. "These are our grandfathers and grandmothers and we need to give them the respect they deserve."

Mohono urged beneficiaries to take care of their houses and give them value by planting trees, grass and establish small gardens.

She also sent a strong warning to beneficiaries who receive houses and later turn them into businesses or rent them out to foreigners. "Some people rent out their houses or turn them into businesses like tuck shops and taverns. Others give them to their grandchildren and then return to their old shacks or mud house they've been living in," she said.

She warned that her department will work closely with municipalities across the province to monitor such behaviour and anyone found to have transgressed the law would be dealt with accordingly.

One of the recipients of the houses, a 45-year-old Dimakatso Sengwetso from Extension 8 said it was the most remarkable and memorable day in her entire life.

"I've always wanted to have my own house but I couldn't afford to buy or build myself one because I am unemployed.

"Today is a dream come true and I can't even believe it," said the joyful Sengwetso, who has been living with her husband and kids in a two-roomed shack since her arrival in Mogwase in 2002