Ms Joyce Nkuna, right, with Mpumalanga Human Settlement MEC Mr Speedy Mashilo who hands over her new house at Seabe village. Picture Credit: MP Human Settlement Department

By Montsho Matlala
SEABE: Come rain or sunshine, it would be a forever Christmas which has rather came earlier for the 19 members of the Nkuna Family at Seabe village under JS Moroka Local Municipality.
The happy mood enveloped the family members on Friday October27 when Mpumalanga MEC for Human Settlement, Mr Speedy Mashilo and his entourage officially handed over a decent house to family head, Ms Joyce Nkuna (58) .
The new house built by a good hearted benefactor Mr Glen Mkansi of Tekani Construction replaces the old one which was ravaged by storm during 2022. The disaster forced the 19 family members to cram in the damaged house which they covered with blue makeshift roof.
Now the new built house has rekindled the spirit of dignity for the Nkunas who expressed appreciation.
“I am grateful to the MEC and Mr Mkansi for affording me shelter as I had long lost hope in our situation. Thee old damaged house was also small and could not accommodate all of us” said the visibly delighted mother who relies on few government grants received by some family members for a living.
Mashilo said, “As the Department, our responsibility is to ensure that people are well settled in sustainable manner. Today I am happy that local business people donated this house.”
The MEC said he was touched by the family living in the damaged RDP house but could not re-enter them in the housing list as according to the law no one could benefit twice.
Mashilo then mobilised sponsors who not only built a new house but also donated furniture.
Mkansi heeded the call for intervention, “The living conditions of the family touched me and I had to build this family a house. As business we had to respond to the humanitarian call by the MEC and provide a better home for this family.”
The new house also became the first in the area to be roofed with non-asbestos material.

The Nkuna family has been living in the storm damaged house with makeshift roof. Picture Credit: MP Human Settlement Department

Asbestos is health hazard and to protect people, Mpumalanga has set aside R50 million to commence with assessment and subsequent removal of asbestos roofs from government delivered house.
According to the MEC, there are 20 000 houses in line for asbestos roof eradication and subsequent replacement with health hazard free material in the province.
The first 1000 asbestos roofed houses would be assessed during the 2023/23 financial year, Mashilo said.


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