18 July 2013
South African President Jacob Zuma on Thursday officially launched the Danville settlement in Pretoria West, where low-income families, both black and white, are the recipients of new homes.
The Danville settlement houses families that used to reside at Bethlehem informal settlement in Pretoria West, which was occupied by poor white families as well as other families residing in Road Reserves in the Attridgeville area, and other areas in Pretoria Central and West.
Six more families were officially handed homes during Zuma’s visit, which coincided with Nelson Mandela International Day.
Magta Croukamp, one of the recipients, became very emotional when asked how she felt to have a place to call home.
Croukamp had travelled for 11 years around the country with her fiance, Jacob Kroen, looking for a stable place to live. She moved into her two-bedroom house in the settlement in May this year. She shares the home with her fiance and brother, Johan Croukamp.
“We cannot thank the President enough for sticking to his word,” Croukamp said. “We have suffered for a long time. We were robbed 49 times while staying on the streets. At times, people tried to kill us for our luggage and clothing. I want to thank God and the President for sticking to his word.
“Mandela Day will always be special to us. We would like to say, Mandela must get better. We are keeping him in our prayers.”
Leone Heck, 51, said she knew that her house was on its way.
“President Zuma is … a good man who keeps his promises,” Heck said. “He visited our area before and promised houses and he is delivering. It is excellent that he is trying to help everyone just like Mandela did.”
Crissie Nel, who did not have a house for 10 years, had told Zuma she wanted a house during one of his previous visits to the community.
“When I told people around me that I asked the President for a house, everyone told me to forget about ever getting a house. I was so happy when I moved in. Thank you President Zuma for keeping your promise,” said Nel, who lives with her husband in her new home.
Zuma said he was touched by the way he was received in Danville.
“This is what we want to see happening in the country. There is a genuine expression of satisfaction. We are giving houses to all the nation’s groups. South Africa belongs to all who live in it … Even those still waiting for their houses will get their houses.”