Beneficiaries Sibongile and Nolusindiso Nongena, who have been married for 11 years, with Malusi Booi, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements. Photo: African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town – Becoming a property owner for the first time was the perfect gift on Valentine's Day for 24 beneficiaries of state-subsidised Breaking New Ground (BNG) homes in Delft. 

The City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, visited some of the beneficiaries at their homes and presented them with roses and their keys, the City said. 

Beneficiary Charlene Skippers, a single mother of three, was living as a backyarder in Delft when she received the good news on her birthday two days ago that her house was ready.

"I have never been so overwhelmed before and I feel so blessed. This is the best birthday present," she said. 

Booi also visited pensioner Nonceba Mxenge, 92, and Nomfundiso Zele, 64, who is bed-ridden, to hand over donations of new beds to each of them as well as roses. Mxenge and Ms Zele have been living in their new homes since November last year. 

"These are my favorite flowers. I like them very much. Flowers bring good luck," said Mxenge.

Zele said she was grateful for her house and bed. She added that it was the first time she had received a rose. 

Booi said it was heart-warming to see the joy on the beneficiaries’ faces when they received their keys. 

"Today, our beneficiaries and their families can celebrate as they begin a new chapter in their lives. This is a chapter of security as now they have a place that they can call home and it belongs to them. 

"It is also a chapter of empowerment as they now own property for the first time in their lives. Owning a home means much more to the beneficiaries than just having a roof over their heads. 

"It signifies the restoration of dignity to some of our most vulnerable residents. This is certainly a memorable moment for our beneficiaries.

"Going forward, we remind our new property owners that they are responsible for their homes. We therefore encourage them to make responsible decisions regarding their homes which includes the maintenance and upkeep of their homes as well as ensuring the security of their assets for their loved ones in future by including it in their will," said Booi. 

Over the coming months, more qualifying beneficiaries will receive their own homes as part of the City’s commitment to provide 2 400 BNG houses in the area. 

The Roosendal project, which formed part of the first phase of development, was completed in 2016 and provided 288 beneficiaries with BNG housing opportunities. 

The remaining phase, which is currently under construction, will provide 2 112 housing opportunities. Thus far approximately 200 houses have been handed over in this phase. 

The construction of the Delft housing project is making progress.

Cape Times