Granny builds dream house


The Citizen (KZN) - - News - Mpumi Kiva

Pen­sioner used planks from a dump­site to build the home she’d al­ways wanted.

A62-year-old woman ran out of pa­tience af­ter wait­ing for an RDP house for over 20 years and built her­self a wooden bun­ga­low. Glo­ria Matebe, the grand­mother of two young girls, spent six months build­ing her home from dis­carded pieces of tim­ber that she col­lected from a nearby dump­site in GG Camp in­for­mal set­tle­ment in Oudt­shoorn.

The pen­sioner said she had been on a wait­ing list since 1998 , but had lost hope of hav­ing a postal ad­dress of her own. Matebe said she had reg­is­tered for a house when her two chil­dren were still young and had hoped to raise them in a de­cent home.

“I never thought I would still be wait­ing for a house to­day,” she added.

In July last year, with the help of two young men she started build­ing her­self a house made of old planks dis­carded by a lo­cal tim­ber com­pany.

The bun­ga­low is fit­ted with a small kitchen, a sit­ting room and a large bed­room that can take up to three sin­gle beds. The roof is made of zinc sheets. The wooden planks of the house are var­nished on the out­side to make it look more at­trac­tive.

Lack of elec­tric­ity in the area means many peo­ple go to a nearby dump­site ev­ery Thurs­day to col­lect wood to make fires for cook­ing. Matebe col­lected the wood there to make her home, which she shares with her daugh­ter and two grand­chil­dren.

She said she couldn’t stand liv­ing in a shack any longer.

“I am get­ting old and I felt I couldn’t wait for a gov­ern­ment sub­sidy any longer.

“I built this bun­ga­low out of frus­tra­tion. I wanted to spend Christ­mas in a more se­cure en­vi­ron­ment than a shack.”

She can now lock her front door and the door to her room.

Matebe cooks out­side to avoid any risk of set­ting fire to her new home.

Her neigh­bour, Fen­nie Deimans, said: “She is a strong woman. Ev­ery morn­ing she would go to the dump­site to col­lect the planks and re­turn home to build. She is the first per­son to own such a beau­ti­ful bun­ga­low in this area.”

Deimans said she had also been on a wait­ing list for an RDP house for “too long”.

“This woman has in­spired many of us.”

Re­pub­lished from Groundup

Pic­ture: Mpumi Kiva

BUN­GA­LOW BUILDER. Glo­ria Matebe, who lives in an in­for­mal set­tle­ment in Oudt­shoorn, now has a more se­cure en­vi­ron­ment to call home.

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