Mixed emotions during handover of RDP houses in Villa Liza

The beneficiary of A new RDP house by the name of Siphiwe Memela (82) receiving the keys to his new house from the Executive Mayor Mzwandile Masina during the handover of RDP houses in Villa Liza on Friday, November 4.

According to the community spokesperson Patrick Tshuari, who spoke to the Executive Mayor Mzwandile Masina on behalf of the community, the list was corrupt. “We have the proof that the list you have is corrupt so this handover must not continue to take place.

“We as the community have the structures that we need to contact before we allow this handing over. We are going to consult the community and take it from there.

“We also want you as the mayor to prioritise those with disability,” said Tshuari.

Masina responded by saying that the list is genuine. “If there is a person with a proof that there is corruption involved, that person must come forward and bring that evidence and we will investigate and take it from there. The houses in question will not be handed over until the investigation is done.

“We are here to give dignity to the community, not to serve those who are corrupt. So please allow us to do our work and give service delivery to the people,” said Masina.

Tshuari also mentioned that there are many people who are not from their community who are benefiting from the housing scheme. “According to the constitution 70 percent of the community members from around here must benefit from the housing scheme. But with the case of our community, people from faraway places are benefiting instead of us. People from Soweto, Thembisa and other faraway places are benefiting but we are not,” said Tshuari.

Masina responded by saying that the houses are for the community members not for particular people.

“The houses have been built for people in South Africa with IDs and who qualify. If there is any case of corruption, we will investigate and take drastic measures if need be,” responded Masina.

Another angry member of the community, Rufus Make, said the municipality did not liaise with the community about this handover. “To prove that there is corruption, the municipality did not announce this handover on time. We were taken by surprise that there will be a handover today. There was no transparency at all,” said an angry Make.

Masina responded to that by saying that they have made announcement on time through the local radio station and other media houses. “There was transparency, just that there are challenges of previous house allocation. Those challenges must not form part of the current allocation,” said Masina.

There were 178 houses that were meant to be allocated on the day but due to the protests of the community only four were eventually handed over.

One of the beneficiaries of a new RDP house, Siphiwe Memela (82) said that he has stayed in the informal settlement almost all of his life. “I am so happy for what the mayor has done for me. I wish the mayor can do the same for other old people like me. I now have a place to stay with my family.

“I wish that the handover can continue peacefully,” said an ecstatic Memela.

Erhens Ngwayi (66) from Loliwe informal settlement around Villa Liza was not successful in getting a house, but she said: “I am happy for all those who benefited from the housing scheme.

“I only registered three months ago and I’m still waiting for my turn to get a house.

“I wish those who did not benefit to be patient as their time is coming,” said Ngwayi.

Other beneficiaries were Paulina Marumpula (74) from Vosloorus, Albert Ndluzule from Ulundi Informal Settlement in Villa Liza and Sthembile Nkosi also from Ulundi Informal settlement around Villa Liza.

Aaron Damane

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