MMC for Human Settlements Cllr Lesiba Mpya returned to the family of Richard Thole on 10 October to deliver on the promise made by Mayor Mzwandile Masina in February 2017 to expedite the process of giving the family a decent house. Mayor Masina made the promise after the five-year-old Richard fell into a disused mine shaft at Jerusalem informal settlement while playing with friends. The family already had a pending RDP house subsidy application when the tragedy struck.
Despite frantic rescue operations by the City’s emergency services and other emergency service agencies, Richard’s body was never found after it became too dangerous to access all possible cavities of the disused mine shaft.
“Today we are here to hand over the house in remembrance of our departed son, Richard. We take solace from the fact that the family will regain its dignity of having a decent home,” MMC Mpya said as he consoled the family.
He said the City has allocated R30 million for the provision of housing to about 3 500 residents of Jerusalem informal settlement.
The re-blocking of informal settlements across the City of Ekurhuleni is also on course to mitigate disasters such as the one that befell the family of Richard, as well as shack fires, and to provide basic services such as water, electricity, sanitation and accessible streets during emergencies.