The morning of Madiba Day, Thursday 18 June, found Angeline Armoed weeping. But her tears were of joy, not sorrow, because she had just been told by Annie Brinkhuis that she was getting the best gift ever. Her own home, compliments of Knysna Municipality and a private donor.
Born in Ruigtevlei, Angeline is a senior citizen who has been staying with her family in Sedgefield for approximately 30 years. According to Annie, who holds the Human Settlements portfolio on the local Ward Committee, Angeline has been a ‘back yard dweller’ since her husband died 17 years ago, and she and her children have battled to make ends meet since then.
“She was actually on the list to receive one of the first RDP houses in the late nineties,” says Annie, “But somehow her name got shifted off and she lost out.”Christopher Bezuidenhoudt of Knysna Municipality says the family’s vulnerability makes them an ideal recipient of this housing opportunity “The household is exposed to extreme poverty. The municipality is extremely grateful to Nyameko Trading 618CC for their contribution in making this family’s dream of their own home a reality.
Later in the morning of Mandela Day, the Knysna Executive Mayor Mark Willemse, Ward Councillor Levael Davis, Municipal Manager Dr SW Vatala and other municipal officials arrived to initiate the project by staking the property pegs into the ground. The Mayor also presented Ms Armoed with a signed pledge for the project.
Construction of the 42sq.m house, which will be an ‘eco-home’ that is fire resistant, will commence soon, and it is believed that the walls will be up within a month.
“I want to say thanks to God,” Angeline enthused, clearly emotional about her good fortune, “I have waited long enough, and He has blessed me with this house.”