‘I can die peacefully’: Limpopo granny finally gets house after 12-year wait

Mamaila Pfurisa was living in a mud house with cracks with her daughters and grandchildren.

A Limpopo granny, who waited for more than 12 years for government to put a roof over her head, jumped with joy after Mayor for the Mopani District Municipality, Pule Shayi handed over a new house to her and her family on Saturday.

The handover of the house took place as the ANC held the provincial leg of its 2019 Elections Manifesto Review in Limpopo.

For the past 20 years, Mamaila Pfurisa of Khani Village, outside Giyani, have been living in a mud thatched house with her two grandchildren and two daughters.

Denied RDP house 

When her late husband applied for an RDP house in 2012, government refused to approve the application because there was another house built in Gauteng, under the name of her husband’s second wife. The husband,  Mkhabela Frank Mkhacani, had three wives.

According to Limpopo human settlements MEC Basikopo Makamu, a person can benefit only once for free government houses, irrespective of the number of wives the husband had. “This is because, according to ANC policy, government resources may be shared to all and not one person or family,” said Makamu.

The thatch house Pfurisa lived in was leaking and had huge cracks that posed a danger to the family. 

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Prince Malatji from HWA Engineers, who is responsible for water reticulation in Giyani, said the situation the family was in was alarming. 

“When we came, the family had to do laundry, bath, cook and sleep in this shack house. During rainy days, they would ask for refuge from neighbours,” he said.

The mud house that Mamaila Pfurisa live in before. Picture: Supplied
The mud house that Mamaila Pfurisa live in before. Picture: Supplied

Malatji said Shayi had told them to build a new house and provide furniture and plumbing.

“It took us only eight weeks to build this house and today we are pleased to hand it over to the family,” said Malatji. 

‘I can die peacefully’

Pfurisa said she was over the moon.

“I  am more than 70 years of age now. If I die tomorrow, I will sleep peacefully because my children and grandchildren will have a roof over their heads.

“Today, because of you, I have a three-bedroom house, with an open style kitchen and a dining room, a bathroom and a toilet. As if that was not enough, you continued to provide me with blankets, a geyser, Jojo tank and groceries,” she said with tears running down her cheeks.

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Masilo Maloko, Member of the Mayoral Committee at Mopani said there were 36 similar houses built in Maruleng, Letaba, Hoedspruit, Giyani and Tzaneen.

Mbalula at hand-over ceremony

Speaking during the handing-over ceremony, ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula thanked the leadership of the ANC in the Norman Mashabane region for what he said was a beautiful gesture.

“The ANC does not build houses. But government does,” said Mbalula, also known as Mr Zingi-Zingi in the province because of his constant mentioning of the village each time he speaks at ANC events.

“We have so far built thousands of houses in the country. Ours is to oversee the work of government and how government continues to change the lives of our people,” said Mbalula. 

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