A PRIVATE company providing security services for the Mpumalanga government has offered to build a house for a family of 10 crammed into a shack.

The company, MCC Security and Projects, has also committed to training two of the family’s eldest daughters and employing them as security officers on one of their sites.

“We were really touched by their plight and could not sit back and watch them suffer,” MCC director Moses Mahlangu said.

On April 30 Sowetan published an article that showed how the Mphiwe family of Lefiswane, outside Marapyane, were forced to share a one-roomed shack after their four-roomed house was destroyed by a freak storm.

The family said the house was destroyed on November 4 last year and all efforts to engage the local Dr JS Moroka municipality had failed.

After the Sowetan report the provincial human settlements department promised to repair the house, but this did not happen.

On Saturday Mahlangu visited the family and said helping the family was more urgent now that the winter chill has started to bite.

He told the relieved family his company would build a new four- to five-roomed house and that the construction of the house would begin in the next two weeks.

He also said the house would be completed over the next two months.

“I am here today not only to see for myself the extent of the damages caused by the storm, but also to see what else can be done to help your family lead a normal life again,” Mahlangu told the Mphiwes.

The family said it would appreciate any kind of assistance from the businessman since no one in the family was employed and depended on the social grants of two children.

Mahlangu said in addition to building the house his company would train Mmaphuthi’s two daughters, aged 18 and 22, and then employ them as security officers.

“The money they will earn as guards will definitely supplement the social grants the family relies on and I am optimistic that this will improve their terrible condition,” Mahlangu said.

At present the family uses the shack as a dinning room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. Local authorities normally provides temporary shelter such as tents for victims of natural disasters, but the Mphiwe family has not been fortunate.

The family has been told that their application for an RDP house was turned down because they do not qualify to benefit from the government’s housing programme for the poor. – alfredm@sowetan.co.za

Original Story on SowetanLive