After years of delays and frustration, the housing development in KTC is finally going ahead after the City of Cape Town and various stakeholders marked the start of construction of 235 units on Tuesday August 22.
The City’s mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron, ward councillor Khaya Yozi and community leaders braved the freezing weather to gather at the development site near the KTC community hall to witness the sod-turning ceremony.
Out of the 235 units, 100 will be allocated to senior citizens while two disabled residents will also be accommodated in homes which will have wheelchair ramps, wider doors and modified bathrooms.
The contractors are expected to start work before the end of the month and the project is expected to be completed in 14 months.
Residents earning less than R3 500 a month were eligible to receive houses.
They had been patiently waiting for the construction to begin since 2013 but there had been a number of delays.
Mr Yozi said this angered residents and others were beginning to lose hope. He said some people felt that the government had turned a blind eye to their needs.
He said the harsh and sad reality was that when people were moved from the site to make way for construction, they didn’t anticipate how long they would have to wait.
Mr Yozi said what hurts him the most was that some of the people who were part of the housing project steering committee had since passed away while waiting for their houses.
He said the living conditions of the residents were inhumane and a health hazard.
He hoped that there wouldn’t be delays to the project this time because people were eager to live in decent houses.
“I want to see this project being done so that our people can live in better houses.
“The fact that this project has been delayed for many years is uncalled for.
“I urge the community to ensure that this project becomes a success,” he said.
Mr Herron said the construction of houses was one of the biggest challenges facing the city.
He said development was often halted by the community due to in-fighting or delays because of the supply logistics. He said the government had not turned a blind eye to realities such as the need for housing. He said enhancing access for residents with special needs was part of their commitment to build an inclusive city.
He said the KTC housing project was near local amenities and a public transport corridor.
“We are making every effort to ensure that service delivery, through the provision of housing opportunities, reaches some of our most vulnerable residents. This project would be led by the community and we will just provide support.
“This marks the beginning of great things to happen,” he said.
Housing project chairperson, Matthews Lacky, said he had been living in the area for 32 years and had been waiting to get a house. Now, he said, he could finally say he had reaped the benefits of freedom. But,he said, they could only finally rejoice about this when the houses were handed to the beneficiaries.