When President Jacob Zuma handed wheelchair-bound Ntombilezi Phungula the keys to her new house, she cried and shouted with excitement: “Is this is really my house?”
An elated Phungula, who celebrated her 70th birthday on Friday last week, said that the house was the best possible birthday present.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I would one day live in a house like this. A house that has a geyser, a tap and even a toilet inside,” she said, smiling.
“This house is so big and I didn’t even have to pay a cent for it.”
Phungula, of KwaDumisa Location, South Coast, who was left paralysed after suffering a stroke in 2004, was selected as a benefactor of the Jacob Zuma Foundation.
The foundation seeks to address the needs of the most affected and impoverished people of rural communities.
The grandmother to six orphans with whom she shared a self-built, one-roomed rondavel broke out in song when she saw that the house – consisting of three bedrooms, a lounge, dining room, kitchen and bathroom – was fully furnished.
Phungula beamed from ear to ear when she saw the television set.
“I’ve never had a TV in my life, although I’ve always wanted it,” she said staring at the television.
Zuma, who said that he had grown up with Phungula, told the community that his organisation would organise a helper to look after the grandmother.
“We’re all very happy for you that you’ve received this house today, and I can’t believe that you still remember me after all these years,” he said, to much laughter. - Daily News