In celebration of Mandela day, Gauteng Premier David Makhura, MEC for Human Settlements Paul Mashatile together with various business partners dedicated more than 67 minutes of their day participating in building 67 houses in Drieziek, Orange Farm South of Johannesburg.
Premier Makhura said; “Today we remember the father of our nation,Nelson Mandela and also reaffirm the dream that he left for the country, that everyone should have a decent house, were they can live in dignity.”
Addressing the public who also joined in on the day’s activities, Makhura said; “We are encouraged to see you all work on this day, as Nelson Mandela worked his entire life for the people. Let us make a difference in the lives of many in our communities in honour of Mandela.”
As a way of eradicating housing backlog in the province, the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements is building about 35 000 houses and have so far built 1000 house in Orange farm.
The department is also building Mega human settlements, where they are building new cities and units.
Makhura encouraged the businesses and corporates to hold up Mandela’s dream of building a better country, to be a democracy where everyone is valued and no one is left out.
“As we lay one brick at a time, this symbolizes our commitment towards rebuilding our country. When we lay a brick, one must say, I am fixing crime, education, health, unemployment, the economy, housing one brick at a time,” Makhura added.
MEC Mashatile said, “We want to turn Gauteng into a construction site. This spirit of voluntarism and participation should persist to the future generations.”
“We are happy to see the beneficiaries participating in building their own houses, as it gives the sense of ownership and responsibility.”
One of the beneficiaries, 58 year old, Sarah Mahlangu from Drieziek Ext 4, could not contain her excitement.
“This is a dream come true, I have been waiting for this house since 1994, I lost my job and I stay with my children and my grandchildren in a shack which is too small. I am happy we will finally have a home to call our own.”
The Premier and MEC Mashatile also took the opportunity to hand over a house to a 103 year old pensioner, Gogo Mthiyane, from Orange Farm.
“I always hoped that I will move into my house before I die and I am happy today that I can move into my home on Mandela day. I thank God for this miracle,” said Gogo Mthiyane