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Western Cape Government Handed Over Five Houses To Empower Disabled Residents Of Dysselsdorp

Oudtshoorn, 17 July 2023Provincial Minister of Infrastructure, Tertuis Simmers, handed over houses in collaboration with Oudtshoorn Municipality to persons with disabilities in Dysselsdorp, Oudtshoorn on Thursday, 13 July 2023. Councillor Christine Muller, Human Settlement Portfolio Chairperson, extended a warm welcome to the new beneficiaries who will be starting a new chapter in their life as well as everyone who attended the handover ceremony.

Minister Simmers, handed over five specially designed houses to disabled citizens, marking a significant milestone in the province’s and municipality’s commitment to empowerment. These newly constructed homes aim to provide a safe, accessible, and independent living environment for individuals with disabilities, fostering their well-being within the community.

“Many of you come from different backgrounds and have been on the waiting list for a long time, you know the hope you had,” Minister Simmers remarked during the handing over ceremony. “This is the first step towards living a better life by becoming a landowner”.  To ensure that the houses are kept in the condition in which they are provided, the minister emphasised that leadership is not only the responsibility of the government or the council members but also of the entire community. He urged everyone to take ownership and leadership of their community and the land that they have been given.

These five houses symbolize the government’s and the municipality’s commitment to creating an inclusive society where disabled citizens can better their situations. “By providing comfortable and accessible housing, the province aims to remove barriers and enhance the quality of life for individuals with disabilities, to live in dignity”.

Minister Simmers made it abundantly clear after questions from the residents that homeowners cannot sell their homes until eight years have passed. As this would affect the indigent subsidy they receive from the municipality, he further underlined that they are not permitted to rent out the homes or even permit tuckshops to open on their property.

The handover ceremony took place amidst an atmosphere filled with joy and was attended by government and municipal officials, community leaders, councillors, community members of Dysselsdorp, and the proud recipients themselves. The five beneficiaries, carefully selected based on their needs, were welcomed, and congratulated by all present.

Accessibility and functionality were carefully prioritised during the design and construction of these recently built homes. Every home includes accessibility amenities, such as wheelchair-accessible kitchens and modified bathrooms. These homes’ design and infrastructure have been modified to meet the special requirements of disabled people, ensuring comfort and independence in their daily lives.

Speaking at the event, Councillor Liluth Van Rooyen of Ward 10 in Dysselsdorp, expressed deep gratitude to the provincial government that was involved in this significant initiative. Cllr Van Rooyen acknowledged the dedication and hard work of all stakeholders who transformed the vision of accessible housing into reality.

The entire budget for the Dysselsdorp project is R130 million. The construction of this project, which include 522 houses, started in September 2021. More than 420 beneficiaries have already settled into their new houses.