Childcare service enhances Ridgeview community development

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Childcare service enhances Ridgeview community development

The newly established integrated human settlement of Ridgeview in Dipaleseng Local
Municipality received a significant boost with the opening of a multi-million rand Childcare
Centre on Monday, March 18th, 2024. The facility, aimed at nurturing young children through
Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs, was inaugurated by the Mpumalanga MEC
for Human Settlements, Mr. Speed Mashilo, accompanied by Local Executive Mayor Cllr.
Khethiwe Moeketsi and Gert Sibande District Executive Mayor Cllr. Walter Mngomezulu.

In addition to the Childcare Centre, the officials handed over 180 title deeds to beneficiaries
of government-subsidized housing units within the Ridgeview settlement. MEC Mashilo
emphasized the importance of delivering government services that respond to the prevailing
conditions on the ground, stating, “This community needed a centre of this nature, kids
would be taken to far-flung areas for purposes of ECD, and that was an expensive venture
for them. Now, these kids will learn in a more familiar environment to them.”

While acknowledging the progress made, Mashilo committed to bringing attention to the
Executive Council regarding the need for improved road infrastructure and the construction
of a primary school in the area, as Ridgeview is still lacking in certain essential services.

The issuing of title deeds was highlighted as a significant milestone for the community. Local
Executive Mayor Moeketsi described it as “an act of dignity restoration,” explaining, “The
MEC’s visit will leave the community of Ridgeview in a better socio-economic position in that
the title deeds overly changes their status. They are now property owners and can use their
title deeds to leverage economic opportunities as it would be possible to access finance in
pursuit of any business endeavour henceforth.”

One of the beneficiaries, 82-year-old Ms. Jane Ngubeni, expressed her gratitude and relief,
stating, “I am grateful with this document, it was the only thing that kept me worried about
our future and the status of the house, should anything happen. Now I can openly declare
and say ‘Kukwami la!’ (This is mine!).” Ms. Ngubeni lives with her grandson and great-
grandchild, having recently moved from the nearby Monareng settlements.

The District Executive Mayor, Cllr. Mngomezulu, urged the community to preserve and
protect the infrastructure, as it is their asset. The Ridgeview integrated settlement comprises
over 3,500 sites, with 1,500 housing units already completed and occupied. MEC Mashilo
announced that 60 percent of the remaining sites would be made available for purchase by
those who wish to build for themselves, while the remaining 40 percent would be used for
the provision of other low-cost houses. Similar handover events are expected to take place
in other parts of the province.