Vulindaba James September and Maria Majoro at their new home in Savana City. Majoro was promised a house three years ago by the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements. Picture Bhekikhaya Mabaso African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - An elderly woman who lived in an old electricity container for 15 years is now a proud homeowner after she received a new house from the Gauteng Department of Human Settlement.

Human Settlements, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Dikgang Moiloa handed a new home to Maria Majoro, 64, in De Deur on Tuesday.

This handover came after Majoro was confronted and called a liar by the MEC’s spokesperson, Lebo Kheswa, on 24-hour news channel Newzroom Afrika on May 5.

Newzroom Afrika had interviewed Majoro, who said the previous MEC and current ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile allegedly promised her a home in 2016, but it never happened.

After the interview aired, Kheswa arrived at Majoro’s former makeshift home and confronted the woman, and claimed Majoro was lying.

“So, you are using the TV people to intimidate us?” Kheswa asked Majoro.

The Newzroom Afrika journalist challenged Kheswa for her confrontation, and Kheswa responded and said: “What she told you this morning was a lie and we have started a process with her.”

The MEC said the incident was a “storm in a teacup” and that at the time when the story ran, the department had already started working on issuing Majoro with a home.

“It was a misunderstanding from the media in the manner in which the whole issue was elevated and miscommunicated to mean that my office was not concerned about this family,” said the MEC.

“I had been concerned from the day I saw the story.”

Moiloa further apologised to Majoro for the manner in which Kheswa conducted herself.

An excited Majoro told The Star that she used to live in the container with her husband Vulindaba James September and their two grandchildren.

“I am happy we are at a safe place; this place is so much safer. At our old home, we could be attacked at any time, but now we can sleep soundly,” she said.

Moiloa also announced that the department would be applying for a title deed for the family.

“I am touched deep down in my heart that even that I leave office, I at least keep the legacy of the promise that was made to the family of Majoro,” said the MEC.

September said he was overjoyed that his family would be given a title deed. “I am very happy and my heart is warmed.”

Moiloa added that the electricity container the family called home would be demolished to prevent anyone else from living there.


The Star