He says the day for people to ‘take charge of their own destiny has been revealed to the people themselves’.
Thousands of people who are affected by the housing backlog in the eMalahleni area will not have to worry as eMalahleni businessman Themba Sgudla vows to meet government halfway in sorting out the issue.
Sgudla, popularly known as ‘Masofa’ or ‘Somahhashi’, launched his ‘Thuma Mina housing project’ at the Ackerville stadium, attracting scores and scores of people while declaring he would now compete with government in meeting the needs of poor people, saying without local businessmen doing so the society “will remain the same”.
He said he was particularly concerned that a lot of people in the eMalahleni area continue to live in backyard rooms without homes of their own.
Sgudla addressed a fully packed Ackerville stadium and said that seeing so many people attending his Thuma Mina housing project “signifies the crisis that you people of eMalahleni are faced with”.
“If we don’t start to turn it around now, our lives will remain the same,” the businessman told the crowds.
Over 9000 people attended the launch of Sgudla’s Thuma Mina housing project.
The Thuma Mina housing project will first begin by the launch of a community online database system called ‘Thuma Mina Human Settlement System”. Then he will begin building the houses “based on the demands” from his own pocket.
“We are opening a Thuma Mina housing project office in Klipfontein,” he said, “they are busy renovating it. We have suffered enough in this area and now it’s time to do it on our own without relying on government. I will build the houses from my own pocket for you to rent and buy. We have already bought the land. We want thousands and thousands of units for poor people to occupy in this area,” he said at the stadium.
At the stadium, Sgudla was a real crowd puller, touching issues that got the crowds going crazy.
“Comrades,” he said to rapturous applause, “we are here to launch the Thuma Mina housing project”.
“A project that will deliver houses to you because as a businessman I have seen that it will not help me to eat my money alone,” he said at the stadium.
“I will share it with you because when I’m dead my money will be eaten by criminals who won’t take care of you,” he said.
“You are my only hope and I will share my money with you because when I’m dead you are the ones who are going to bury me and you are the ones who will take care of my children,” the PRET President said.
“My job is to do what President Cyril Ramaphosa says we must do, thuma mina, I wanna be there when things start to turn around,” he said.
Sgudla told the crowds that there was a real problem with the housing system of Mpumalanga.
He said the government built homes without knowing who exactly needed to benefit from the homes and those homes ended up being occupied by “criminals who are not even in need of houses”.
He said the online ‘Thuma Mina Human Settlement System’ that he was busy developing at a cost of R1.5 million will allow poor people to apply for homes on their cellphones and they will get an sms reply saying “approved!”
He said it will be unlike the current situation where people relied on a ward councillor to get feedback on whether they would get their homes or not.
He told the crowds that the homes for the poor earning less than R16 000 and above R4 000 every month will be built in Spring Valley, Siyanqoba, Tasbet Park and Dhuva Park and these people will rent to buy – and within 10 years “you should own the house”.
He said he bought the whole land with millions and millions of rands to dedicate it to this specific project.
Sgudla said people who live in Dingindoda, a government low-cost rental settlement in the Tasbet Park area, will have to be forced out of the homes and be replaced with poor people.
Sgudla is not quite popular amongst other property owners because of his housing projects turning the Tasbet Park suburb into a township, depreciating the values of the houses in the area.
He said that he spoke to George Xaba, the CEO of eMalahleni housing company, and told him about the Dingindoda issue, that “those who can afford but are living in poor people’s houses must leave!”
“You are going to occupy those houses,” he told the residents, before taking a swipe at foreign nationals for turning the eMalahleni CBD into “something that we don’t know what it is”.
“I’m not xenophobic but I’m concerned that those people own homes here while you don’t and they use our sisters, they sell drugs, they destroy our area, we must attend to the issue urgently comrades,” he said, provoking thunderous applause from the crowds who then began singing struggle songs.
(edited by ZK)
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