There has been mixed emotions from 1 000 families who received empty plots and communal toilets at De Doorns in the Hex River Valley in the Western Cape.
Richard Dyantyi, the Western Cape housing and local government minister, who was expected to explain why there are no houses, failed to pitch up. Some families who have been on the housing list for over 10 years, have expressed dissatisfaction with the empty plots, while others who lived in a nearby informal settlement have shed tears of joy in an expression of happiness.
Thobeka Madikane (38), a local resident, says she has spent her entire life in a shack having to share a toilet with hundreds of her neighbours in a river bed. With tears in her eyes and gulping for breath, she says her plot of land although almost bare, and her toilet that she has to share with four other families is a dream come true. Manny Sotomi, the chief director for housing and planning in the province, says handing over vacant plots, earmarked for development is not ideal but the best solution to the housing crisis.