A homeless family, living under staircases, parks and broken cars, were overcome with joy when they received the keys to their new home in the newly developed housing scheme, Cornubia. Ivan Balakrishen was ecstatic as ANC Ward 49 councillor, Sindisiwe Dlamini, handed over the keys to Balakrishen’s new home on Thursday, 1 November.

Balakrishen said that his family struggled for a long time and were living in the streets for almost five years, sleeping wherever they could. “I
then got a job at the funfair and we travelled and lived with them for three years. It was very hard with the kids, especially for school. When the owner sold up, the new owner gave us a caravan to live in, so I looked for a safe spot and found an area in Bankford, Sunford. We lived in the caravan for three years and then Ishwarlall Ramlutchman of the Sivananda World Peace Foundation helped us with a wooden shelter,” said Balakrishen.

“The wooden shelter was better than the caravan, but things were still hard for us. We didn’t have any water, electricity or toilet but we had to make do. We had some very caring neighbours and people who live in the area that used to help us. They would run an extension chord and give us electricity and water. It was very hard, but at least it was roof over our head,” said Balakrishen.

About six months ago, things changed for the Balakrishen family. “One of the ANC volunteers, Theresa Fynn, was walking pass and she saw us. She came and spoke to us and said that she was going to help us”, added Balakrishen. Working on the case, Dlamini began engaging with different departments within the municipality and province, securing a home for the family in the low-income housing of Cornubia.

“We are so happy that we could help Ivan and his family. This is what president Cyril Ramaphosa’s Thuma Mina campaign is all about. Together we can make a difference and if each of us decide to help another, we will build a better country for our people”, said Dlamini.

Dlamini, led by branch secretary, Sbusiso Khumalo, ANC Women League Ward 49 chairperson, Deloshnie Moonsamy, and ANC Ward 49 volunteers, helped the Balakrishen’s move into their new home. Balakrishen added, “I cannot tell you how happy we are. After so many years, we have our own home We are overjoyed. This has made us so happy. Thank you to everyone who helped us.”