A 109-year-old Limpopo woman celebrated with tears of happiness when she received a new furnished house from the mayor of the Sekhukhune district municipality, Stan Ramaila, on Tuesday.
Legadi Maria Maroga was born on 11 November, 1911 in the remote village of Tsidintji, outside Burgersfort.
The gogo has been living in a dilapidated mud house with four orphaned grandchildren for over 19 years. The house was left to her by her seven children.
Her application for an RDP house hit a brick wall as her name kept going missing from the waiting list.
But days before lockdown, Phadima Naphtaly Seroka of Mothakge Seroka Construction gave her a new lease on life by presenting her with a new house.
Seroka said he built the house after a request by Ramaila to change the lives of the family, in particular the granny, for the better.
“I think the gods are finally smiling on me and this house is proof of that. I am today on cloud nine to receive such a beautiful gift.
“I can now go to my grave to join my ancestors knowing very well that my grandchildren have a roof over their heads,” said the jubilant centenarian during the official handover of the house on Tuesday.
The five-roomed house has three bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom and dining room and is fitted with cutting-edge appliances and furniture.
“This is the fifth house we have built since 2016, when I came in as a mayor for the region.
“It is in my nature to help those who cannot help themselves because I harbour a belief that housing is dignity,” said Ramaila.
He said the district, which has a population of more than 1.1 million, was ravaged by poverty, with over 59% unemployment.
He said the area in which Seroka lives had more than 490,000 people, the majority of whom were unemployed.
“It then hurt me to the bone that this granny was living with her four grandchildren under these conditions with only her meagre pension fund to put bread on the table.
“That is why I chose to help them,” said Ramaila.
Meanwhile, member of the executive committee for human settlement in Limpopo, Basikop Makamu, and Mopani district municipality mayor Pule Shayi spent the better part of the weekend also giving houses to the poorest of the poor in the Baphalaborwa local municipality.
Makamu and Shayi handed over two houses to families in Lulekani and Maseke, outside Namakgale.
Shayi said the beneficiaries had to share their old small houses, which made it difficult for parents to sleep, bath or cook as the houses were not conducive for human habitation.