Early Christmas for Imbali households

Christmas has come early for two poverty-stricken families in the rural village of Imbali, outside Pietermaritzburg.

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi officially handed over fully furnished houses to the Mathe and Mkhize families on Sunday.

As the Minister arrived to hand over the keys to the new houses, she was greeted by a hero’s welcome as the families and neighbours sang and danced.

The houses followed a commitment made by the Minister last year to assist in getting the families proper housing.

She visited Ward 14 in the Msundudzi municipality for the first time in September 2014 as part of a Presidential Imbizo led by President Jacob Zuma. During her door-to-door service delivery visits, Minister Muthambi identified seven families that needed proper housing.

Most of the families were living in small, overcrowded mud houses.

She facilitated the construction of two houses for the Mathe and Mkhize families through a partnership with Multichoice.

The Msunduzi Local Municipality has committed to building three more houses and has added two more in light of the donation from Multichoice to bring the total to seven houses. The three of the houses are 90% complete.

The two families who received their completed houses on Sunday had been living in dilapidating mud houses with no running water, but now all that has changed.

One of the beneficiaries, Khombisile Madodo-Mkhize explained that when it rained it was very difficult for her, her six children and two grandchildren because the house leaked.

“I never believed that I will own a modern house like this one… I want to thank the Minister for her efforts to ensure that together with my kids I also have a roof over my head. We will look after this house.”

Ncamisile Goodness Mathe said: “The new house was completed few weeks ago, but we’ve been scared to move into the new house because we still think that we don’t deserve to live in a modern house … now that the Minister handed over the keys to us, tonight we will move out of the three-roomed shabby house.”

She said overcrowding was a challenge. There were 14 people living in the mud-roomed house.

“I really want to thank Minister Muthambi and I believe if all leaders can deliver on their promises, this country will change for better. She’s friendly and a hard worker, we really love her so much,” she said.

The two families also received blankets and groceries from the Department of Social Development.

Minister Muthambi said the handing over of the houses was a clear indication that through public private partnerships government can build a socially cohesive country where the lives of all people will be improved.

“Really, it is a great pleasure to be here to hand over keys for new houses to the beneficiaries. We are a caring government and we want assure all our people that we are still committed to improve their lives,” she said.

In July Minister Muthambi was in the area to unveil a computer centre sponsored by Vodacom with high speed internet connectivity. She also donated school uniforms.

When the Minister visited the area for the first time there was no network signal for cellphones. Today the signal has been improved and she is assisting to improve the signal in neighbouring wards.