Speech by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Ms Sylvia Lucas, on the occasion of the Hand-over of Integrated Human Settlements to the Leratopark Residents, 03 October 2013 at 08h00

Programme Director
Deputy Minister of Human Settlements, Zou Kota-Fredericks
MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, Mr Alvin Botes
The Mayor and Councillors Present

The Construction Group, Motheo
Officials from Local and Provincial Government
Residents of Lerato Park
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

Today is a special day for the residents of Lerato Park. We are gathered here to celebrate the Handing-Over of these beautiful houses to them.

The Handing Over of these houses marks a milestone development in the lives of the Lerato Park residents who have lived through it all – the hardships of lack of proper shelter, the brunt of neglect and poverty, the long wait in anticipation and finally the benefits of a much better product.

Programme Director, allow me to make special mention that amongst the list of beneficiaries are two people who are deceased namely, Ms Diarajwaemang Nely Mecwi and Ms Sedia Mirriam Moemedi. As a caring government, we then decided to award these two houses to their children to allow them to grow up in a comfortable environment and with dignity.

Equally important, is to announce that Mme Jacobs Aduwang is the oldest beneficiary who shares a birthday with former President Nelson Mandela.

To all the beneficiaries, I hope that you will find these houses worthwhile.

In spite of the numerous difficulties that we encountered during the earlier phases of the housing delivery project in the Lerato Park area– the issue of infrastructure such as water and sanitation as well as roads – it is with a great sense of pride and joy that we are celebrating this significant milestone.

The Provincial Government is committed to the delivery of quality human settlements. We want to make sure that we use public resources in the best possible way to ensure that our people get the best service from government.

It is our Government’s conviction that every individual in South Africa has the right to adequate housing without discrimination.

And by adequate housing, Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to emphasize that this Government is not merely speaking to simply having a roof over one’s head; but rather to housing with access to potable water, electricity, sanitation and other integrated development projects such as recreational facilities etc.

As such, we are pleased to hand over these houses to the residents of Lerato Park who have lived with the indignity of zero recognition as home owners. I can only imagine the happiness that must be going through your hearts and minds. This is a government working at its best led by the African National Congress.

Our work as government is ensuring that we get rid of slums and provide our people with houses of good quality that are built close to transport, schools, clinics and other social amenities like sports fields.

Our aim is to provide decent housing for our people and to do this while making sure that public money is well spent and that we get value for money. Unfortunately there are many projects where our people have received houses of poor quality – where the walls start cracking, where foundations are damp, where roofs start leaking, where bricks are held together with more sand than cement – yes, you know what I am talking about.

This is not acceptable, we cannot allow our communities to be abused in this way where government is paying and paying well for something that is not value for money.

Under the custodianship of President Jacob Zuma and the African National Congress, this government is committed to doing things differently. The President has said that we must be a government that serves the needs of our people - we must be service-oriented – and we must ensure that we deliver the services that our people need effectively, efficiently and speedily. The President has made it clear that we must not make empty promises. We must not just talk – we must act.

We have also been working hard to ensure that projects where people received poor quality houses with cracks such as in Soul City, be repaired and properly refurbished. We are seeking to create stable, secure, vibrant and cohesive communities in South Africa.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have no doubt in my mind that the benefits that these houses bring will ensure that you no longer have to brave the scorching heat, endure the cold winter nights and wet rainy seasons in the open and in a shack.

What we are doing here today symbolises, powerfully, what our people meant when they declared in the Freedom Charter that: “There shall be Houses, Security and Comfort!”

The generation of our time carries an immense burden, not only to correct the imbalances and distortions of the past, but also to cement the foundation that will provide a secure and a brighter future for all. Not only must we have the necessary conscience to undertake this task, we must also be prepared to expend the necessary resources for this.

Without decent and affordable housing, families may encounter difficulties in managing their daily lives which often negatively impacts their children’s safety, health and development.

I want to assure you, Ladies and Gentlemen, that this Government will continue to work tirelessly to prevent this cycle of hardship among our citizens.

Today, you will now join the proud category of homeowners and along with that comes the responsibility of homeownership.

I encourage you to take your new responsibility seriously. Maintain your environment and work towards the building of a safe, peaceful and thriving communities.

May you find joy and contentment in your new surroundings.

May God Bless you and your family and May God continue to richly Bless our Nation.

Allow me to make special mention that amongst the list of beneficiaries are the children of the late Ms Diaraywaemang, Nelly Mecwi and Ms Sedia.

Equally important is to announce that Mme Jacobs Adwaray is the eldest beneficiary who shares a birthday with former President Nelson Mandela.

Take good care of these houses.

I thank you

 

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