South Africa: OR Tambo Tornado Victims Receive New Homes

11 December 2019

A big Christmas gift is in store for the families who were left injured, destitute and homeless by a devastating tornado at King Sabata Dalindyebo Local Municipality in January 2017.

According to Eastern Cape Human Settlements, a total of three families whose houses are completed, will on Thursday receive the newly built homes from MEC Nonkqubela Pieters.

The MEC will be accompanied by Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister, Pamela Tshwete and OR Tambo District Municipality Mayor, Thokozile Sokhanyile.

On January 2017, a devastating tornado and heavy rains left a trail of destruction in Ntokozweni Village which left 14 families homeless, one death and others severely injured.

The Eastern Cape Government joined forces with the provincial Human Settlements to assist the families, where temporary shelters were erected to alleviate the pressure from the families. The department also made a commitment to come up with a permanent solution.

An amount of R2.1 million funding was allocated for Ntokozweni Destitute Housing Project, to benefit 14 families affected by the disaster in Ward 17. This is an ongoing project with the construction of other houses underway and at various stages.

Among the beneficiaries to receive their homes include elderly, child headed families and disabled.

Malibongwe Ngqundulo, whose mother was wheelchair bound and has since died during the construction process, will receive the home on behalf of the family.

The other beneficiary is a 79-year-old Nobungile Galeni, who lost her physically disabled son during the tornado, and a 28-year-old Yandisa Makaula, whose family was torn apart by the disaster forcing his younger siblings to live with relatives.

Provinces implored to accelerate housing delivery

Meanwhile, Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has implored provinces to accelerate housing delivery.

Speaking at a recent regular meeting with provincial MECs for Human Settlements (MINMEC) and CEOs of all water and human settlements entities, Sisulu challenged provinces to increase their pace in providing houses for the indigent and encouraged citizens to use water efficiently as dam levels in some parts of the country continue to drop.

The meeting, which sits quarterly to review service delivery, also took a decision to reallocate funding from underperforming provinces and metropolitan municipalities to those who are performing.

The provinces to benefit from the reallocation include Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape.

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