Kaunda keeps on building houses for SA poor

Former Zambian President Dr Kenneth Kaunda has knuckled down to serious business on Monday when he laid some of the first bricks of a new house being built in Mamelodi East.

Kaunda joined an estimated 500 volunteers building 28 houses for families in need in Mamelodi.

The project was initiated by the Kenneth Kaunda Work Project (KKWP), the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa, Habitat for Humanity South Africa, a non-profit Christian organisation dedicated to the eradication of the lack of housing.

Companies which have thrown their weight behind the project include Jet Club, Citigroup, Lafarge South Africa, Old Mutual, Alternative Printing, Whirlpool, Southern Sun Hotels, African Alliance, BP, Ernst and Young, Broll Property Group, Pam Golding Properties, Women for Housing and Pick 'n Pay.

Prominent local personalities like musician Vusi Mahlasela and radio and television presenter Tim Modise have contributed to the KKWP.

The Mamelodi-based Mahlasela contributed R6 000 through the Vusi Mahlasela Music Development Foundation while Modise, who grew up in Ga-Rankuwa, contributed R18 000.

Habitat has in eight years of active building in South Africa built more than 13 000 simple and affordable houses for South African families.

For these families, their new house is not only a bricks and mortar building, but reflects the pride of a home built with their own hands, the unique experience of working side-by-side with volunteers from all walks of life, and the opportunity to support their neighbours in need by repaying the cost of their home into a revolving fund used to build more houses in their community.

Donne Cameron, Habitat's national director, said: "We at Habitat for Humanity are proud to have Dr Kaunda lead the second Kenneth Kaunda Work Project in Mamelodi."

"This project will help an entire community and it will further enhance the work of Habitat for Humanity in Africa and the whole cause of providing decent housing for low-income families in South Africa and in other countries where Habitat is working."

Cameron said in this way, Habitat was giving families the opportunity to live in a decent home through partnerships at every level - home owners, volunteers, churches, international teams and corporates which provide the funding and the hands to build the homes.

Kaunda said the purpose of the KKWP was to raise awareness about the critical need for affordable housing across Africa, bringing strangers together in brotherhood against the unacceptable situation of homelessness. "It is wonderful to be back in South Africa to bring homes to these families and it is in the spirit of Habitat for Humanity that I am dedicating time and effort, alongside these committed volunteers to help build homes and hopes of the people of this land," Kaunda said.

This article was originally published on page 2 of Pretoria News on November 23, 2004

Article by: Patrick Hlahla - www.iol.co.za