After months of grief and loss Maggie Mashiloane finally received a moment of comfort yesterday when she was presented with a brand-new house by Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Lebogang Maile.
Mashiloane's life story touched many South Africans after she lost four children and their nanny in a horrific fire last year. She had also lost her husband to Covid 19. Mashiloane's old house was in Pretoria West but she will now settle with her family at her new Soshanguve home.
Maile presented Mashiloane, who was accompanied by her surviving son, with the keys to the new house yesterday. This was a follow-up to the promise the Gauteng provincial government had made to assist Mashiloane who had lost everything in the fire.
She told The Star that she was humbled by the support she had received and that God was her hope for surviving her traumatic experience.
“I have people who are supporting me but my son is the reason I am still strong. I have to be there for him,” she said.
Mashiloane is unemployed at present and said she was staying with relatives while she was trying to put her life together. She was living on handouts from people who care.
“All I need now is a job. I had my own small business before the fire, doing catering, but everything that has happened has taken its toll on me,” she said.
Mshiloane said she mourned for her children but that the new house offered her hope. She was due to move in at the end of the month.
Maile said it was thanks to a partnership with the private sector that Mshiloane could be given a new home.
He said he was touched by the journey of pain that she and her family had experienced. He said the government alone would not have been able to deliver the house to Mashiloane speedily because of the existing backlog in RDP housing.
“It made me ecstatic and there is a sense of pride because we are making a difference. The task is huge. We should congratulate her for getting a house but we must work hard to ensure we find solutions to the problems people are going through,” he said.
Maile said police were investigating the cause of the fire at Mashiloane’s old house.