Day of joy for Ebenhaeser and Vredendal residents
It was a day of joy and excitement yesterday in the Matzikama municipal towns of Ebenhaeser and Vredendal, when the Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers handed over title deeds and houses in the respective areas. Pursuant to this, a site visit was conducted at phase 2 of the Lamberts Bay Integrated Residential Development Project (IRDP) so that an update about the progress could be provided.
In Ebenhaeser, 10 residents became legal homeowners for the first time in their lives, when they received their title deeds. This brings the total number of title deeds that’s been handed over since 2009 to residents of this community, to 583.
Minister Simmers said: “It was a privilege to hand over this life changing document to these residents. Given our history around not being able to own land, there is nothing greater than knowing that you are the legal owner of a property. As the Western Cape Government, we believe that true empowerment is ownership, as it restores our people’s dignity. There are still 69 title deeds that should be transferred to residents of this area. We hope to swiftly transfer these, so that they also have the opportunity to outright own their properties.”
In Vredendal, 8 elderly residents, aged between 64 and 72, with the majority being former farm workers, took occupancy of their brand-new homes. This follows the 42 qualifying and deserving beneficiaries that’s been moving in between 26 - 30 November 2021. This IRDP is expected to yield 382 housing opportunities, with 220 to be completed by the end of the current financial year.
“Being presented with the opportunity to handover the keys to the elderly residents brought me immense joy. It was pleasing, as these beneficiaries have been waiting for a housing opportunity for between 21 to 28 years. Not only are these elderly residents, but some were former farm workers. Just as the Western Cape Government seeks to ensure that the lives of our elderly are improved, so too are farm workers, particularly in our rural communities also a priority. I’d like to thank the community of Vredendal for assisting us in ensuring that none of the completed units were invaded, and I’d like to call on them to continue assisting us in this manner. We do not want to have any delays in the completion of these units,” added Simmers.
One of the beneficiaries, Ms Susanna van der Westhuizen (66) who’s been on the Housing Demand Database (HDD) for 28 years, said: “I’m so happy today and I thank God for making this day possible. I have my house now. It’s been very long, but I never gave up hope. I’d like to encourage others to also be patient, because their opportunity will come.”
Minister Simmers said: “I’m also pleased to note the progress that’s being made on the Lamberts Bay development, particularly since the contractor commenced in October 2021. It is expected that the first 20 qualifying beneficiaries will move into their homes next week with a further 20 moving in a week later. As this phase of the project will yield 84 housing opportunities, a further 44 can expect to also live in a safer, improved and dignified manner.
As the Western Cape Government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society.”