SaveAct
Nomvula Kunene with her granddaughter outside the house built with savings.

No place like home

Nonvula Kunene was an unemployed single mother of three when she set about building a home where she could live with her children.

Until then, they had been living in eZiqwaqweni near Eshowe with her father, stepmother and niece, but space was cramped. Her father gave her a piece of land to build on, but this was difficult because she was jobless and had no one to help her.

Nomvulu (47) says when she started to build a one-room house using stones and cement, people laughed at her, asking questions like “what are you doing “and discouraging her, saying “you’re a woman, you can’t build a house”. When the room was finished she and the children slept and cooked in the same room.

Nomvula, who has a monthly income of R1 380, joined a savings group in 2018. In 2019 she borrowed money from her group to buy materials to make bricks. Then, in 2020, after her niece got a temporary job and also joined a SG, they decided to save as a family.  At share-out at the end of the cycle Nomvula received R5420 and her niece received R6230. They used the money to buy materials and pay a builder to erect a two-roomed house.

Nomvula says she’s now sleeping and feeling safe during difficult weather.