• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

Disabled teen and two orphans receive new ‘green’ homes

A physically challenged 17-year-old girl and two young orphans from Mooiplaas were given brand new houses by the MEC for Human Settlements, Ms Nonkqubela Pieters and Chippa United football club owner Siviwe Mpengesi in Mooiplaas, East London on Thursday.


Tears of joy streamed down 20-year-old Asiphe Penze’s face as she was handed the keys to her brand new home, the first solid structure she has ever lived in at Nyarha Village. “I have lived in a shack all my life but I was still proud to point it out as my home because it was the only home that our late parents left for us. Now that we have this beautiful house I can point it out not just with one finger but with both hands,” she said to loud cheers from the neighbours and government officials gathered at the lawns of the Penze home.


The fully-furnished house was built by Mpengesi’s Chippa Holdings, which also has interests in the construction sector, using Green Crete alternative technology. Basically the technology uses a combination of cement, recycled waste, binding chemicals and emulsions. It is cost effective and environmentally friendlier than the conventional building block.


Speaking at the event, Mpengesi said, “I grew up poor and lived in a shack in Cape Town when I left the Eastern Cape to look for a job. I didn’t know that in villages there were people who lived in such conditions because this was the life I knew from the informal settlements of Cape Town”.


Since 1994, Pieters said the Eastern Cape department of Human Settlements has provided more than 400 000 decent houses to beneficiaries. “According to the United Nations, recent advancements of the rights of persons with disabilities in society and development are signified through the adoption, progression and promotion of the international norms and standards relating to disability,” said Pieters during the handover.


Physically challenged Zenzile is said to have been living under appalling conditions not conducive to her situation. Her house has been built to conform to the norms and standards of a physically challenged person.


These children benefited through the Department’s Destitute and Vulnerable Groups Programme, which prioritises the elderly, disabled, child headed and military veterans.


The Programme remains one of the trans-formative.


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