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‘Lighthouse’ aims to solve housing crisis

Siyavuya Mzantsi

A HANGBERG Khoisan descendant and kickboxing teacher who faced forced removal is set to be the first to receive a “lighthouse” which innovative developers say could help solve the country’s housing problems.

HOME AT LAST: Xoma-Aob Guma talks to his neighbours while standing at his new 'lighthouse' which is set to be completed in the next few days. It is an alternative of the so-called temporary houses by the city. Photo: Jeffrey Abrahams. Credit: INLSA

Yesterday, Xoma-Aob Guma – 48, who is also a co-designer of the project – and the developers, were finalising the first “lighthouse” in the country, which Guma owns.

The house is under construction and the developers say it’s only a matter of days before its completion.

The house which costs less than R30 000 to manufacture is built with wood and iron. It addresses food security by its vertical vegetable garden. It prevents fire with its magnesium insulation and shutters that close in fires.

It also sits on stilts, which prevents flooding and it will have an indoor toilet and shower when it is completed.

Guma refused to be removed as the City of Cape Town allocated other residents of Hangberg elsewhere to temporary shacks.

“I was prepared to die because this is my land. Other people moved but I did not because I have animals like horses, chickens and I have a garden to take care of.

“I was not prepared to move from this land that I had spent over 40 years of my life on,” Guma said.

“It feels like my life is being appreciated. I feel like the happiest man in Africa right now,” he said.

The “lighthouse” designers and builders Stephen Lamb and Andrew Lord were appointed by the city to help Guma.

“We called it a ‘lighthouse’ because it brings hope to people who lives in shacks. It is an alternative of the so-called temporary houses by the city. Guma played a big role in putting up a plan for this house,” Stephen Lamb.

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