White cou­ple en­joys vil­lage life

Du Toits hope for RDP res­cue from their shack

Sowetan - - News - By Peter Ramoth­wala ramoth­walap@sowe­tan.co.za

A white cou­ple is among more than 70 fam­i­lies wait­ing for their RDP houses to be com­pleted in a vil­lage near the town of Burg­ers­fort, Lim­popo.

Danie, 60, and Kotie du Toit, 57, have been liv­ing in GaMaepa vil­lage, a pre­dom­i­nantly black com­mu­nity near Burg­ers­fort, in the Greater Fe­tak­gomo-Tu­batse lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­ity. More than 72 RDP houses in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity that has been ac­cused of squan­der­ing R200m with an il­le­gal de­posit into VBS Mu­tual Bank, had been left un­fin­ished since 2014.

Danie said they set­tled in the vil­lage since 2009 af­ter ar­riv­ing from the Free State.

“We built our two-roomed shack and ev­ery­one wel­comed us with open arms.

“We are liv­ing with great peo­ple in this vil­lage. The crime rate is very low.”

Du Toit said they had earned them­selves a spe­cial place in the vil­lage through their sim­ple in­ter­ac­tion with the peo­ple. His wife Kotie said though vil­lage life was more chal­leng­ing she had since ac­cli­ma­tised to the en­vi­ron­ment.

“Peo­ple taught me how to push a wheel­bar­row to carry water. The ma­jor prob­lem is short­age of water in the area, and the mu­nic­i­pal­ity is fail­ing us by fail­ing to bring water tanks,” she said.

The cou­ple’s un­fin­ished RDP is now used to ac­com­mo­date more than 30 dogs.

“These dogs keep us com­pany and we just love hav­ing them around. We don’t need spe­cial treat­ment be­cause we are white. We want the gov­ern­ment to com­plete all un­fin­ished houses in the vil­lage,” Kotie said. The cou­ple said it re­lied on so­cial grant to sus­tain them­selves.

Neigh­bour Rosina Nk­wana said she lived in peace and har­mony with the Du Toit fam­ily.

“The hus­band is a handy man, he helps us with fix­ing our ap­pli­ances and the wife knows how to knit. They are very hum­ble peo­ple and we go to the river to­gether to fetch water in wheel­bar­row,” Nk­wana said.

Depart­ment of hu­man set­tle­ment spokesper­son Paena Galane said the houses were left in­com­plete by un­scrupu­lous busi­ness peo­ple who aban­doned the project.

“We have started with rec­ti­fi­ca­tion process and Maepa vil­lage is also on the list. We have since ter­mi­nated con­tracts of 11 com­pa­nies af­ter we did our as­sess­ment.

“We have re­cently ap­pointed 14 con­struc­tion com­pa­nies to fin­ish all RDP houses in the prov­ince,” Galane said.

/AN­TO­NIO M U C H AV E

Danie and Kotie Du Toit in front of their un­fin­ished RDP house in Fe­tak­go­moTu­batse lo­cal minic­i­pal­ity in Burg­er­fort, Lim­popo.

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