Media Statement - 29 August 2013

PORT ST JOHN’S - Mrs Nontatazela Cebiso thought she was going to spend her entire life staying in a mud house, that is up until she was identified as a one of the beneficiaries of the 57 Women’s Build houses handed over today by the Minister of Human Settlements Connie September at Ludalasi Village, Port St John’s in the Eastern Cape.

Mrs Cebiso was born in 1918 at Buqa village and moved to Ludalasi after getting married to her now late husband. Her husband worked in Gauteng as a miner for almost twenty years and she could not be with him for longer due to the then pass laws which limited the migration of black people. She is partially blind, on a wheel chair and stays with her four grand children surviving on social grants.

"I am so grateful to the government and all the people who contributed to build this house for me, at least I will have an adequate shelter to house my grand children after such a long time living in this mud house,” said Mrs Cebiso.

Minister September also handed certificates of acknowledgement to 111 volunteers and 37 sponsors who contributed to the building of 57 houses.

"I wish to thank the province, municipality and the various agencies and organizations for responding to the call to improve the lives of our people. I also wish to encourage the young women, especially the volunteers who assisted in building the houses to keep on improving your skills and start your own construction companies,”said Minister September. /p>

One of the volunteers, Xoliswa Mxoxwa (25), a mother of one, finished matric in 2009 and has been employed as a domestic worker for four years earning R500 per month.

"I am very happy to have been part of the Women’ Build as it has helped me to acquire the necessary skills so that I can be able to get a better paying job. Most importantly, it is fulfilling to contribute towards a good course as these houses we built are for vulnerable people,” said Mxoxwa.

The Women’s Build is held annually in collaboration with provinces and sponsors to build houses for the elderly, people with disabilities and child headed households in commemoration of the 1956 women’s march to the Union Buildings against pass laws.

About 8000 houses have been built since 2006 as part of the Women’s Build and 800 volunteers have acquired skills in plastering, brick laying and painting since then.

Press Release Date: 
Thursday, August 29, 2013