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The following speech was delivered by City of Cape Town Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, at the handover of keys to beneficiaries of the new Hazendal housing development

Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Benedicta van Minnen, councillors, Pastor Miriam Basson and Sheikh Waseem Abrahams, City officials, the project steering committee, and especially our beneficiaries.

Good morning, goeiedag, molweni, as-salaam alaikum, shalom.

It gives me great pleasure to be with you all today on what is always one of my favourite days.

Today we can share a special day with beneficiaries who are about to start the life they have been patiently waiting for.

There are many people who fought and died for access to the rights we have today, like the right to shelter.I was one of those people who fought for fairness and I am humbled to still be part of the cause where we share the fruits of our democracy.

Our country’s history meant a lot of pain and inequality and trying to reverse the wrongs of the past is a complex task, but one we remain committed to.

We are working tirelessly on the task of redress and providing services and homes to beneficiaries on a daily basis.

As a caring city, we are working harder to bring change and empower more people each day.

If given another chance, we will continue this work to bring freedom, fairness and opportunity to more residents.

Today is a joyful day and I can only imagine the overwhelming feelings of relief and happiness you feel at this moment.

I share in your joy and I am honoured to be here today and give you the keys to your own home.

You are going to be living in a central area, close to schools, transport, clinics, churches and mosques and all the places you need to be.

In your new homes, the ceilings have been insulated and fitted with energy efficient lights so that you can keep warm but also save on electricity costs.

I am very pleased that this new development of 153 houses worth R25 million is moving along so well.

The work started in July 2015 and so far 56 houses have been handed over in Kewtown.

Today we are handing over 20 keys and by the end of August we will be handing over the remaining 77 houses.

These houses will be going to some of our most vulnerable residents, those on the waiting list as well indigent residents and those with special needs.

One of those people is Lucinda Aghulhas who has a walking disability and will today finally have her own space.

Another woman I know who is very excited today is Florence Boer who has been on the waiting list for 32 years.

Florence, it’s been a difficult road for you living in a backyard all these years while also raising your grandchildren but you had faith. Today is your day. You finally have your own front door.

Fowzeyah Israel, you have waited for 33 years and today is your new beginning, in your own place.

While we start a new chapter for you all, we are also creating jobs for people in this community.

With this development and the Heideveld development, the contractor had to employ local labour and for the two projects 36 Expanded Public Works Programme jobs have been created so far.

As you open those doors today, you are starting a new stage in your lives which I know you are going to make the best of.

Let us all remember how much it took to get to this point and let us accept it with the responsibility that, as new homeowners, you will take the best care of your home, take pride in it and take pride in your neighbourhood.

Thank you to everyone who worked on this project and a special thank you to the beneficiaries for your patience through the years. I wish you all many happy years in your new home.

Thank you, baie dankie, shukran, enkosi. God Bless.

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