Christmas couldn’t have come sooner for people living with disabilities in Jeffrey’s Bay in the Eastern Cape. 28 families took ownership of houses designed to accommodate their disability.

The Human Settlement Department has prioritised the disabled through its destitute and vulnerable groups programme that includes the elderly, child-headed homes and military veterans. It’s national disability awareness month and it runs until the 3rd of December.

It was a special day in Jeffery’s Bay as dignity was restored to vulnerable people of the community. Rae Malgas is one of the excited few. She is unemployed, wheelchair-bound and her living circumstances were less than ideal. Malgas says that all this has now changed.

“Thank you for the house. It is beautiful and I thank you. Yes I am so happy with the house, I am very happy because I have my room.”

Another beneficiary, Thandeka Thame shares these sentiments. “I am so with my new house, I had been living in a shack, but things have changed now. Thanks to the government. I am pleased, it belongs to me officially.”

The beneficiaries were handed the title deeds to their new homes. Government set aside R35.6 million for the Pellsrus housing project and 198 houses have been completed.

According to Human Settlements MEC, Nonkqubela Pieters similar housing projects are also standing in other towns including Qumbu, Tsomo and Matatiele.

“These are the last houses in this project of 2020 and these houses with people living disability. As department, we said we’re prioritised the elderly and people with disabilities, and military veterans. We cannot as government have older people that do not have houses. We have to instil back their dignity. They must have their homes.”

The Human Settlement Department allocated R1.6 billion to build low-cost houses in the Eastern Cape. The applications for a housing subsidy of R70 000 applicants has also been approved.