Title deed gives new future

Lena Gatyeni, who are of ill health, nervously strolled her way through the cheering Diamond Park residents to accept her title deed from the minister of Human Settlements, Nomaidiya Mfeketo, on Wednesday, 11 July.

At the age of 81, it was the beginning of good things for Gatyeni when she was handed her title deed.

Gatyeni also got the opportunity to get a picture taken of herself with a minister and a premier for the first time.

“I have my own house now. It was a dream come true when I was handed my house keys this morning and was given permission to move in.

“My brand-new house has its own bathroom. Although the pipes are not fully functional yet, I will patiently wait for that to happen while staying inside,” said the proud women.

“Getting cold during the winter and being concerned during rainy and windy weather is now a thing of the past as I now have a decent house with a tile roof.”

According to Gatyeni, she never had a doubt that moving from Hopetown to Kimberley was the best decision she had ever made.

On the day, she was among the Diamond Park residents who gathered under a tent pitched on a open space, called the “vlak”, to receive their title deeds to the newly-built houses.

According to the Northern Cape Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), the Diamond Park housing project is expected to yield a total of 800 breaking new grounds (BNG) housing units on completion.

The project is being implemented in phases and funded by Coghsta through the Human Settlements Development Grant (HSDG) for internal services and top structures.

The Sol Plaatje Municipality is responsible for bulk connector services.

The MEC for Coghsta, Bentley Fass, vowed to see to it that all houses are completed in time and that job opportunities on the construction process will be beneficial to Jacksonville residents.

He further urged them to “green” the environment to keep it dignified.

Mfeketo expressed her satisfaction on the quality of the houses, saying that such developments are the ones that urge her department to assist more in terms of funding development.

“As the Department of Human Settlements, we do not build the houses.

“We take the money and give it to provinces and municipalities so that they can build the houses.

“When we see a development like this, we become encouraged.

“We then say whatever this municipality and this pro­vince ask for when it comes to financial assistance, we will be proud and very happy to assist to achieve that goal,” Mfeketo said.

“To the mayor, the MEC and the premier – you have warmed my heart today.

“If we continue on this track of making sure that we are developing our communities – and if we can see from a distance that these communities are developed – you will get support and not only from the national department,” Mfeketo pro­mised.

She elaborated that they will also assist in getting other resources involved in the Northern Cape.

This will be an effort to get rid of squatter camps once and for all.

The outstanding challenges Mfeketo highlighted are the beneficiary lists and communities not 100% involved in developing their lives.

“You cannot be dislodged from the development that is done for you.

“Yes, the municipality, the officials, the government are the ones who are responsible for the development, but it is your right to get involved in how that deve­lopment is done.”

“The official will not know if the first person who wants to occupy a place is the right person, whereas you as a resident will be able to say who the beneficiaries are.”

“You have a friend at the national Department of Human Settlements – and that is the minister herself.

“So, if you do things right, this province will be a model for the whole country when it comes to building houses for the community and getting rid of squatter areas,” Mfeketo said.