Daniel Manganye’s days of homelessness are over.
The 79 year old pensioner has been living in a shack at Elias Motsoaledi informal settlement near the Baragwanath Taxi Rank with his wife Rebecca Mnganye and three children since 1995.
But on 10 June, Manganye, along with 200 other beneficiaries, could not hide his excitement when the City of Johannesburg handed over new houses.
Elias Motsoaledi was formed in 1993 and is home to over 10 000 people.
The residents of Elias Motsoaledi ululated, sang and cheered as the Executive Mayor Mpho Parks Tau and his team of the mayoral committee arrived. The Executive Mayor and the MMC for housing Dan Bovu were dressed in overalls symbolizing that Joburg is a City at work as they demolished Manganye’s shack and took him to his new house.
The Executive Mayor urged communities to take care of their properties and be patient with government and follow proper channels when they have issues that they need to be addressed. He assured the residents that the City would continue to build more houses, including social housing to cater for those who can afford to pay. He also announced the appointment of three more contractors to speed up the process of building.
“Gone are the days when, as black people, we could only take to the streets for our voices to be heard. That is a thing of the past. Now we have a government that listens its people. You elected us to lead you so we are at the council to represent you. You have councillors that you live with. They are there to tell us what you need, not to tell you what the council needs,” said Tau.
Manganye who is originally from Hammanskraal, was happy to finally own a house after staying in a shack for 19 years The shack they were staying in was not even divided and they slept and cooked at the same place. “ I am very happy to finally have a place I can call home, I will now have my bedroom and my kids will have theirs and a living room, and the toilet inside the house, I can now say I am free in the new South Africa,” said Manganye.
He said he was worried with the cold weather as it puts their lives at risk to make fire in a brazier outside the shack in a bucket (Imbhawula) and bring it inside when it’s hot because that has led in shacks being burnt down.
The new homes that the residents were moved to are two bedrooms, with inside toilet and shower, living room with an open plan kitchen and they are also ceilinged and tubing with pre-paid electricity.