News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Thursday September 19th 2019

Disabled couple and son finally get promised house

Nceba Kwinana and Nomzamo Bharhuza outside their new house in Blue Downs on Monday. The couple's only child and carer, 13-year-old Ntsikelelo, was attending school when they received the house promised by government officials over a year ago

Following a year of promises coupled with disappointments, a disabled couple who are cared for by their 13-year-old son have finally received a house in the Nuwe Begin housing project in Blue Downs.

For over six years, Ntsikelelo Bharhuza, who is an only child, has looked after his mother Nomzamo Bharhuza and his father Nceba Kwinana in between attending school.

Ntsikelelo said for as long as he can remember, his father had been confined to a wheelchair due to a stroke. But disaster struck in 2005 when his mother also suffered a disabling stroke, leaving him, at six years old, the only able-bodied member of the household.

Nceba has some use in his hands but often has difficulty controlling his muscles, resulting in his hands shaking uncontrollably.

Nomzamo lost the use of the right side of her body and can only use her left hand, but is able to lift herself out of her wheelchair into a seat.

“It was so hard for me because I was very young. I couldn’t go out with other kids. I always had to sit at home to watch my parents,” said Ntsikelelo.

Following the publication of the their story in March last year the family, who lived in a one-roomed shack in Khayelitsha’s YAB informal settlement and survived on disability grants, were promised a house by Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana.

On the eve of the local government elections Xingwana, accompanied by TV, radio and print journalists, visited the family and broadcast her promise.

Representatives from Xingwana’s department visited the family two months later but expectations that the shiny black cars outside the family’s home meant she was to announce a new home for Ntsikelelo Bharhuza and his parents were crushed. They were told the promised house might take “a year or two” to materialise.

Their hopes were raised a couple of times more during the year when promised visits by government officials failed to materialise.

In the meantime charitable Capetonians came forward to assist the family with food, money and a television set.

Then in December last year Human Settlement MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela moved the family into a house in Plumstead while their new home with wheelchair access was being built in Blue Downs.

After a year of expectation, Xingwana’s promise was finally made real as they received the keys to their new house in Blue Downs on Monday.

“I’m happy that we have a house. It’s big now we have a stable home.” said Nceba.

Nomzamo wrote a special letter, thanking all the people who have come forward on the rescue.

“A special thanks goes to a journalist who first wrote the story, since our story was published we received help from people who didn’t know us. We were living with our child, every day before he goes to school he has to help us first. I would like to thank Standard Bank representative Mosotho Mloyi, for buying furniture for our house. May God bless all the people who were involved in helping us. I’m happy that the minister has gave us the house.”

Madikizela’s spokesperson Bruce Oom on Monday said about 39 families were going to be moved to Nuwe Begin this week.

He said the first people to receive houses were those with disabilities and pensioners.

Madikizela also visited the area to check that the houses were in good order and electricity had been connected. –Nombulelo Damba

Tags: Bonginkosi Madikizela, Disabilities, human settlement, Lulu Xingwana, Mosotho Mloyi, Ntsikelelo Bharhuza, Nuwe Begin

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One Response to “Disabled couple and son finally get promised house”

  1. im a dissabled person of khayelitsha i depend on grant where can i apply for a house

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