A sigh of relief for BCM house beneficiaries

BCM Mayor Princess Faku and MEC for Human Settlements Siphokazi Mani-Lusithi handing over a house in Masingatha village in King William’s Town. PICTURE: BHEKI RADEBE

The Ntantiso family from Masingatha, King William’s Town in Ward 37, said that this will impact their life since it means they finally have plenty of space to cover their heads, an improvement from their prior situation where they crammed in one room.

They said this as they accepted the house that had been built for them by the Department of Human Settlements in the Eastern Cape, working with the BCM Metropolitan Municipality.

Ntuthuzelo Ntantiso, 38, who lives with her mother and two nieces in a two-room home, said that this is a dream come true for her and even the start of her journey toward freedom. She said it was challenging to live with her parent in the home since she had to be more thoughtful about her actions.

BCM mayor Princess Faku and EC MEC for Human Settlements Siphokazi Mani-Lusithi inside one of the families that received a new house. PICTURE: BHEKI RADEBE

“When I say that I will be free, I don’t mean that I will do whatever I want. Given my age and the fact that it was not an ideal situation to sleep in the same room as my mother, I am glad that I will have my own room like my peers.

“I was unable to move out and establish a home for myself because I wasn’t working. It was difficult to even bring someone I was dating because I respected my parent,” Ntantiso explained.

When the councillor arrived to collect her details and gave her the wonderful news that houses will be built, Ntombizodwa Ntantiso (71), Ntuthuzelo’s mother, said she was so happy she could not contain her tears.

“I’m ecstatic; the thought of moving into a new home with greater space feels like a dream. We were crammed into this house, and I didn’t have the money to even build my son a shack.

“Since no one works here and we had no alternative plan, we are dependent on social grants. He needed his own space; it is different for a girl child. I am grateful to the government,” Ntombizodwa said.

One of the newly built houses in Masingathi village, King William’s Town. PICTURE: BHEKI RADEBE

Some of the people who benefit from the houses presented by the department include Makhaya Ndevu (59) and his wife Nomazizi Ndevu (59). He said he never paid attention to the news that houses will be built since he they had been promised years earlier and he had given up hope.

“I also want to express my gratitude to the government for everything that it has done to relieve our suffering. You feel proud when you have a space of your own.

“Lack of a home makes you feel as though your dignity is compromised. I’m glad we got this house quickly because registration for houses began last year and we just got ours,” Ndevu said.

There was a definite need for these houses, according to Princess Faku, the mayor of BCM, who attended the handover. She said that while other areas had houses built she had observed that they were not truly needed, however here in Tolofiyeni and Masingatha they were.

BCM Mayor Princess Faku and EC MEC for Human Settlements Siphokazi Mani-Lusithi at the house handover ceremony in Masingatha village in King William’s Town. PICTURE: BHEKI RADEBE

Faku said that this is to restore people’s dignity. She said that it is not desirable to be an elderly person without an appropriate place to live; it makes people look down on you. Faku also encouraged women to start farming instead of just staying at home in order to be self-sufficient.

The MEC for Human Settlements in the Eastern Cape, Siphokazi Mani-Lusithi, said that they constructed appropriate houses for the residents of Tolofiyeni and Masingatha in order to secure their safety and dignity.

The government’s objective, according to Mani-Lusithi, is to promote community development.

The local chief, tat’ Bacela, expressed his appreciation and mentioned the additional things that are still required in this area.

A total of 52 houses have been constructed for residents; however, work is still ongoing as not all of the homes have been finished.