Melta Maluleke, a mother of four, has recently become a beneficiary of government's housing programme in Germiston, Ekurhuleni.
Maluleke's family is among those who now have a stable environment to call home. A total of 140 housing units have been built in Germiston to improve the lives of the disadvantaged by building affordable houses for them.
The new houses also cater for people with disabilities.
Maluleke, who originally hails from Limpopo, was living in Orlando East in a shack before taking ownership of the new house earlier this month. Life was difficult in a shack, especially in winter and during rainy days when she had to go out to fetch water.
"Staying in a shack with kids was not pleasant at all," said Maluleke
Echoing the same sentiments was Wilfred Sindane, who lives with his family in the same area. Sindane told SAnews that their lives have changed for the better in a new concrete house.
"Our children can do their schoolwork without any hindrances," said Sindane.
Another proud owner of a new house is Zukiswa Mhlakaza, who was initially living at an informal settlement in Freedom Square. Mhlakaza, who is now staying in a newly developed area in Clayville, near Tembisa in Ekurhureni, has been living at an informal settlement for the past 20 years.
"I am happy that I now have a house of my own. Life here is much better," she said.
Mhlakaza is visually impaired and unemployed. She depends on a social grant to support herself and her three grandchildren. She now gets by with the help of her neighbours.
"The neighbours here are very good people, who look after me."
More than just a roof and four walls
The newly built homes in Germiston and Clayville are situated in areas that are next to bus routes to make it easy for residents to commute to work and other amenities. There are also schools nearby for children to attend.
More than 100 housing units have been built in Clayville. The houses, which are one- and two-bedroomed, have space for a garden, especially those that are on the ground floor. The houses are fitted with solar geyser systems.
Meanwhile, the financing of human settlements development programmes in South Africa will fall under the spotlight when various delegates in the human settlements sector gather in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, today.