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116-year-old Colchester resident benefits from Bay COVID-19 project

May 8, 2020
116-year-old Colchester resident benefits from Bay COVID-19 project

Port Elizabeth - The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is still rolling out its programme to move residents from densely populated shack areas and debilitated houses to temporary housing structures on serviced sites to protect them against the likelihood of contracting the COVID-19 virus.

Today, May 7, 2020, the Municipality moved 116-year-old Jan Steenberg from Colchester, who was residing in a dilapidated house, to a brand new temporary home.

This elderly gentleman was sharing parts of his dilapidated residence with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

This municipal programme is specially focused on the elderly and physically challenged persons across the City.

A number of vulnerable residents who meet this criterion have already been moved from different areas to Kwazakhele and Motherwell NU 29.

Due to his advanced years, Steenberg is wheelchair-bound and suffers from a number of chronic diseases.

Speaking at the hand-over of the temporary house, Mayoral Committee member for Human Settlements, Councillor Andile Mfunda, said that more people would be thus relocated.

He stated that his Department had acquired more temporary structures, assisted by both Provincial and National Human Settlements Departments.

"We are working against time to move our vulnerable people from the risk of infection of COVID-19. We are happy that all spheres of government within Human Settlements are working together and are committed to this programme," said Councillor Mfunda.

Eastern Cape Member of Executive Council (MEC) for Human Settlements, Nokqubela Peters, said that the Department was committed to improve the situation of the people of Colchester.

"I have come here to witness the situation of Mr Steenberg and of Colchester at first hand. We have agreed with MMC Mfunda that they need to speed up the planning and installation of services in those areas that do not have them so that as a Department we can move swiftly. However, I must say it gives me comfort to know that one of the oldest persons in the Province is now living in a better place while waiting for the re-building of his house," said MEC Peters.

A visibly excited Steenberg said": "I would like to thank government for this spacious house. I am now going to stay alone and enjoy all my space. I am now sure that I will be safe from this virus. I will now wait for a new house without worrying that a wall may collapse on me at any time."

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