This blind oupa says his dream of one day dying in his own house instead of a leaking hokkie has come true.
An ecstatic George Saliti moved into his new home at the Thembelihle Housing Project in Pelican Park yesterday.
The 68-year-old says for 20 years he lived in a one-roomed shack he later shared with his son in Makhaza, Khayelitsha.
The father of five lost his sight when he was a toddler but learnt to live with his condition over the years.
“Living in a shack is hard on anyone but when you are blind and sharing just one room, it’s even harder,” he says.
“When it rains, it leaks, when it’s windy the sand comes in everywhere, even into your food and there is no way to see it.
“It was in May this year when [human settlements] minister [Bonginkosi Madikizela] came to me and told me I would get this house. I was very happy.”
Yesterday, the humble old man was all smiles as he was led to his disabled-friendly house by his son, Onke Saliti, and Democratic Alliance’s Member of Parliament, Masizole Mnqasela, who was standing in for Madikizela.
Mnqasela says although there are many other people who have been on the housing waiting list for longer than George, his case was prioritised because of his disability.
“It was in 2014 that I put the request with the minister, I asked that he provide an opportunity for this man,” the MP explains.
“Not to say he is jumping the queue but he is more deserving, because there are young people who are in need of housing but we need to make special provisions for the elderly, the disabled and those living in child-headed households.
“Mr Saliti was living under terrible conditions, he lived next to a toilet and there would sometimes be sewage spillage that he wouldn’t see until he stepped into something because he can’t see.
“But I’m happy that today we can deliver on a promise made in 2014 already.”