Ricochet News

Mthatha military veterans receive new homes from govt

Nov 10, 2017
Mthatha military veterans receive new homes from govt

A total of 21 destitute military veterans have received new homes from the Eastern Cape Department of Human Settlements, working in collaboration with the Department of Defence and Military Veterans, at Maydene Farm, in Mthatha.

Eastern Cape MEC for Human Settlements, Ms Helen Sauls- August; the Deputy Minister of Human Settlements, Ms Zou Kota-Fredericks and King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality Mayor, Dumani Zozo, handed over enhanced houses for the first military veteran’s project in the OR Tambo District.

The Military Veterans Housing Programme is aimed at assisting and supporting military veterans and their dependents get decent houses.

“We are so excited today, all the stakeholders working together to ensure that we can handover good quality homes, where the military veterans can be safe in and their children can have a good life,” said MEC Sauls-August. 

“This is a joyful event which has humbled us because these houses are handed over in OR Tambo during the centenary of OR Tambo.”

After receiving his house, 54-year-old Andile Mlonzi could not contain his excitement.

“I was staying with my parents together with my children...I feel today my dignity has truly been restored. I can now provide shelter and a future for my children. Tonight I will sleep in my own house.”

Another military veteran, who also belonged to Mkonto WeSizwe before the military integration of 1994, Nonkumbulo Nxitywa, said she could not believe this day had come, “things were really bad for us when were returned home, we felt neglected for a long time but now things will be better…my fellow comrades must not lose hope, they too will receive their homes".     

The R14.9 million worth project entails the construction of 57 housing units (50 m2) that include, internal and external plastering and painting, insulated ceiling, electrical tubing, 1m aprons, tiled roofs, solar geyser, car-port with paving, fencing of site, floor tiling with ceramic tiles and provision of electric stove.

The military veterans come from various liberation movements including the now defunct Transkei Defence Force in the OR Tambo District. In the Eastern Cape, 3 projects are implemented in OR Tambo, in Nelson Mandela Metro a total of 44 houses have been completed in Chatty thus far and Chris Hani District a total of 200.

Both the National Departments of Human Settlements and Military Veterans signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2012.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding, the Department of Military Veterans agreed to provide top up funding that will cover the additional features to all the homes that will be provided for military veterans. One of the qualifying criteria is for the military veteran to belong to a registered Association within the database of the Department of Military Veterans.