George Gogo (101) Receives House From Minister Madikizela
Western Cape Human Settlements Minister, Bonginkosi Madikizela delivered an early Christmas present to Ms Johanna Carolus, 101, when he handed over a new house in Blanco, George today.
The plight of Ms Carolus came to the attention of Minister Madikizela in July 2016 after her property was transferred to her through the process of the Extended Enhanced Discount Benefit Scheme (EEDBS). At the time, Ms Carolus had just turned 100 when Minister Madikizela took it upon himself to deliver her Title Deed personally as she was one of the few elderly residents to benefit from the programme. However, Minister Madikizela took a decision not to handover the Title Deed for a house that was in a dilapidated state and committed to improve Ms Carolus living conditions for the better.
Detailed studies were conducted by the engineers to establish the possibility of repairing the house. The reports which were made available after the studies indicated that the 100-year-old mud house which was also a Heritage Site was totally irreparable and had to be demolished. The provincial Department had to apply to the Heritage Western Cape to have the house demolished of which permission was granted only in 2017.
With the assistance of the Department of Correctional Services, George Municipality and the George Business Chamber, the house was demolished in July. While construction took place, the Department arranged temporary accommodation for Ms Carolus, her 78-year-old disabled son, and her caregiver.
Emotions were high this morning when Minister Madikizela returned to Blanco to hand over a fully furnished house to the family.
Minister Madikizela thanked all partners who collaborated with the Department to fulfil the pensioner’s dream of living in a decent house. Additionally, 43 people from different organisations came on board and contributed in their personal capacity.
“This project could not have happened without partnerships with the business community and other government departments. We can replicate this initiative if we come together but let us please not wait until someone is 100 years old,” said Minister Madikizela.
He added: “I am calling on the Mayor to organise an Indaba or Summit with all these stakeholders where all challenges will be put together on the table so that we can see how we can assist each other. I do not celebrate when we hand over a house to an elderly person because Ms Carolus should have been taken care of long time ago.”
Ms Carolus was too emotional to speak and thanked the government for building her a beautiful house.
Photographs available on request.
Mrs Ntomboxolo Makoba-Somdaka
Spokesperson for Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela
Tel: 021 483-4798
Cell: 082 953 0026
Mr Nathan Adriaanse
Director: Communication and Stakeholder Relations
Tel: 021 483 2868
Cell: 083 263 1720