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City’s elderly move into their new homes


Eighty-four-year-old John Ngobeni’s wish to have a decent roof over his head was finally fulfilled on Tuesday when the City of Johannesburg’s Member of the Mayoral Committee for Housing, Councillor Dan Bovu, handed him the keys to his new two-bedroom RDP house in Stretford Extension 9 in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg.

The elderly widower – his wife died in 2007 – was all smiles when MMC Bovu handed him the keys to his new home. For the past 20 years, Ngobeni had lived in a shack on the site where his new RDP house stands.

With his two daughters standing next to him during the handover ceremony, the octogenarian thanked the City for enhancing his dignity by providing him with a decent house.

“I will sleep easy tonight. I’m very grateful to the City for building this house for me. This is a dream come true,” he said.

Those gathered around the elderly man’s new house broke into spontaneous applause. Ngobeni was one of four elderly residents who were handed keys to their new RDP houses on Tuesday.

Like the others, Ngobeni had lived in a shack since arriving in Orange Farm from Diepkloof, Soweto, with his wife and two young daughters, 20 years ago. All in all, 47 residents of Stretford Extension 9 families moved into their new RDP homes on Tuesday.

Wheelchair-bound Joseph Ngobeni, 84, and his wife, Betty, were thrilled that their new home has a ramp that will enable him to access the property with ease. There is plenty of room in their 45sqm home.

MMC Bovu also announced that more than 400 houses were at different stages of construction in the area. The MMC also said 2 700 stands had been identified.

Councillor Jacqui Lekgetho, chairperson of the Section 79 committee that oversees housing delivery in Johannesburg, urged residents to take good care of their homes. She encouraged them not to destroy clinics, schools and roads in anger. Instead, they should approach their councillors to report and find solutions to their problems.

Ward councillor Msingathi Mazibukwana and several other councillors also attended the event.