President’s visit brings hope that locals’ needs will be addressed

The day Johannes Buys and his family received the keys to their new house from President Cyril Ramaphosa will be a day they will never forget.

President Ramaphosa on Friday visited the Vlakkeland human settlement project in the Cape Winelands where he handed over the keys to housing beneficiaries.

The 84-year-old Buys will now enjoy the warmth of a new house with his with family. Prior to moving into the house, he was sharing a place in Willington with his daughter.

Buys told SAnews that they had been waiting for their very own house since 1991.

“Am proud to be a homeowner. It is very important to have a roof over your head, it is beautiful that government can help give people houses.”

The President had earlier on Friday arrived at the Cape Winelands District Municipality in Paarl amid applause from the local communities who had been waiting for his arrival. He was welcomed by the Western Cape senior government officials and politicians who briefed him about the developments in the province.

Paarl is situated northeast of Cape Town and is known for its scenic environment and viticulture and fruit-growing heritage.

The streets of Dal Josaphat were abuzz with both young and old seen waving to President Ramaphosa’s motorcade.

A local resident, Koos Stuurman, told SAnews he was pleased the President was visiting his area.

“Our government needs to come see what people need on a daily basis. In this area there is a high unemployment rate and people need houses,” Stuurman said.

He said the President’s visit to the area brought hope to the local people that their needs were going to be addressed.

Ephraim Zobe said government must look after its people, especially the children who are finding it hard to get employment after school.

To date, R248 million has been spent on the Vlakkeland catalytic human settlement project, where 432 houses have been completed and construction is underway on a further 323. More than 180 local workers are employed at this site.

After conducting the walkabout at the construction site, the President engaged with citizens, community-based organisations and businesses in the area - an important centre of South Africa’s agricultural sector and export economy.

The area also features academic and innovation infrastructure, including the University of Stellenbosch.

During the second leg of the programme at the Dal Josaphat Athletics stadium, community members and stakeholder groups will be afforded an opportunity to put questions to the President and leaders from the national, provincial and local spheres of government.

Today’s Presidential Imbizo is the sixth of its kind since President Ramaphosa gave an undertaking in his February 2022 State of the Nation Address that he will interact with communities in all provinces.

The Imbizo series is themed: “Leave No-One Behind” is in line with government’s collaboration with all sectors of society to transform the country through a sustainable, equitable and inclusive economy.

A number of government departments and services are showcasing their services and exhibit ting and allowing residents to enroll for any public services they may need. –

Source: South African Government News Agency