Brits philanthropist with world icon Nelson Mandela’s vision says Premier Modise
15 Jul 2011
The Managing Director of Country Slate, Roelof Brits, was celebrated as a philanthropist with Nelson Mandela's vision for guaranteeing security of land tenure for former farmworkers at a historic handover of the first phase of R51,6 million human settlement development project held on Thursday near Swartruggens in the North West province.
Brits’ donation of 52 hectares of land that made it possible for government to kick-start the multi-million Mazista human settlement development project was acknowledged by North West Premier, Mme Thandi Modise and Minister of Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale.
The 200 completed roof tiled housing units comprise of two bedrooms, combined dining-room and kitchen, bathroom with full length bath, washing basin and toilet were handed over by Minister Sexwale to former farmworkers from the impoverished Mazista/Skierlik informal settlement .
The 45 square meters colourful houses whose quality has been endorsed by the National Home Builders Registration Council are insured and carry a five year warrantee. The council is obliged to repair structural defects and or cracks that might occur on the houses in the next five years.
The beneficiaries, most of whom evicted from the Koster/Swartruggens farming community, danced and ululated as they celebrated the dawn of a new era of opportunities.
Among the first beneficiaries to take ownership of their allocated houses was Emily Moiphitlhi, 59,whose daughter Annah, 32 and 3 months old grand-daughter Keditlhotse were murdered in a racially motivated shooting attack by Johann Nel, then aged 18.
Nel is serving four life sentences and a total of 169 years for the deaths of four people and attempted murder of eight others who survived the incident at the Skierlik informal settlement on 14 January 2008.
Another of those who were in addition to the houses and food gardens also presented with food parcels, was Lerato Lefatshe, 21, who had been a breadwinner for more than a year to her four siblings. Last year both her parents died, leaving her to take care of her son Reobokile and her youngest brother, Reotshepile, both of them were just less than a year old by then. According to Lerato, the house to them means a new lease in life and has also brought hope for new beginnings.
In his keynote address, Minister Sexwale said human settlements are about access to proper roads, electricity, clinics and schools and restoring hope and dignity to the previously downtrodden, marginalised, homeless and poor. He urged the beneficiariesto make their houses homes, where they can leisure, learn, pray and live.
Premier Modise announced that projects aimed at supporting the creation of a vibrant and sustainable human settlement through the project include, among others, electrification of the settlement, erection of high mast lights, construction of a sports stadium, construction of a school, food production project, provision of mobile health facility, etc.
Modise and Sexwale planted the first fruit and shade trees donated for all the houses in the new settlement by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. MEC for Social Development, Women, Children and People with adisabilities, Mosetsanagape Mothibi-Mokomele distributed food parcels to all beneficiaries
Deputy Minister of Human Settlements, Zou Kota-Fredericks, Provincial MEC for Human Settlements, Public Safety and Liaison, Ms Desbo Mohono and Kgetleng Rivier Local Municipality Mayor Councillor Kim Medupi co-officiated with the two leaders on the programme.
Deputy Speaker of the Provincial Legislature, Motlalepula Rosho and Chief Whip Mothibedi Kegakilwe and MECs from almost all provincial departments, the Executive Mayor of Bojanala Platinum District Municipality also graced the occasion.
Lesiba Moses Kgwele
Tel: (018) 391 0420
Cell: 083 629 1987
Issued by: North West Human Settlements, Public Safety and Liaison
15 Jul 2011
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