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Hardly three months after the sod-turning event for the Ebenezer Housing Project, the first tranche of beneficiaries will spend Christmas in their homes. 

Today Bitou Municipality leadership handed over houses to 10 families from New Horizons in the presence of Western Cape Minister of Infrastructure, Tertius Simmers. 

The Ebenezer Housing Project is one of Bitou’s legacy projects which will yield 1600 mixed housing opportunities and, in the process, create jobs and subcontracting opportunities.

Speaking to the beneficiaries Bitou Executive Mayor Dave Swart says lots of work has been done to get here, and more work will continue to form the new community.

He said: “We must acknowledge and remember people and instances who have helped us on the way, even with the trials and tribulations that we had, there were people who helped advance the project. 

Councillor Swart said while the process was long, everything was done correctly, and for this, he lauded the Minister’s Office. 

Minister Simmers who gave the keynote address said today’s handover had a message of hope and a true test of patience.

He thanked the community for their perseverance and urged them not to allow elements to delay the progress that has been made.

He said: “What we are starting today is the formation of a new community.”

Minister Simmers said today was not only a celebration of the housing beneficiaries, but we are also celebrating the SMMEs who are also benefiting from the construction of the houses. 

“In the Bible, Ebenezer was the stone of victory, and victory is formed when the community stands together. 

“When they work with their government, and not against their government. 

He further said to the beneficiaries: “Three months ago the first stone was cast, and we committed to moving people in before the festive season. 

“Today we are here ahead of schedule, to move people in.”

“This shows our commitment: The ward councillors’ commitment, the Executive Mayor’s commitment and that of the entire Bitou Council to improve the quality of life,” he said.

Bitou Deputy Executive Mayor Mavis Busakwe agreed with Minister Tertius, she took time to thank all the role players involved in making sure that it was a success.

Meanwhile, Bitou Speaker, Cllr Claude Terblanche, who is also the ward councillor for the area could not hide his excitement. 

Councillor Terblanche said today was a proud moment for New Horizon. 
“To see people who have waited long to get houses is something that I have always been wishing to be part of.” 

“The gentleman who received a house after being on the waiting list since 1999, is phenomenal,” he added. 

66-year-old Lindelwa Sidima, one of the beneficiaries said she was thankful to God and the Western Cape government for the house. 

She said: “I live with my grandchild, and it has always been my dream to give them a safe home. 

“I am getting my old age grant soon, which will see me beautifying this house,” she said.