Multi-million rand housing project under way

Human Settlements MEC, Bonginkosi Madikizela, the Mayor of Cape Town Dan Plato, and National Human Settlements Deputy Minister Zoe Kota-Hendrickse cutting a ribbon on one of the sites.

Western Cape Housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, on Tuesday morning, said contractors would soon begin work on a multi-million rand housing project for Gugulethu and surrounds.

Mr Madikizela, with Deputy Minister of Human Settlements Zoe Kota-Hendrickse, launched the Airport Precinct Catalytic Project in Gugulethu. The Department of Human Settlement’s Catalytic Projects was described by both as a ground-breaking housing development.

Gugulethu has seen several protests recently over housing issues, especially by backyarders and people of the informal settlement of Lusaka.

Mr Madikizela said the multi- million housing project would deliver more than 900 units.

“This housing project will benefit residents living in New Rest, Gxagxa, Kanana, Barcelona, Lusaka, Europe, Thambo Square and Vukuzenzele, among other informal settlements.

“The Airport Precinct housing project will deliver 9 000 housing opportunities, comprising of duplex and multi-storey walk-ups to the greater Gugulethu area and surrounds Provision will be made for public open spaces, community facilities and market and play areas,” he said.

Asked why now, when the elections are around the corner, he responded by saying these processes took some time.

But he was happy that finally the contractor was on site and ready for delivery.

“We do not want to raise expectations that we are doing this for the elections next week. The contractor is on the site and people are not aware of that. This is a project that will make an impact on people’s lives, whether after the elections I am still here or not. I will visit it even after the election, because I started this irrespective of where I am after elections,” he said.

This development forms part of the Southern Corridor Integrated Human Settlement programe.

According the Human Settlements, the programme will deliver approximately 50 000 housing opportunities to residents within the City of Cape Town.

Mr Madikizela said he hoped people would take care of the projects, and ensure they got off the ground peacefully.

Ms Kota-Hendrickse was happy that the contractor was already on site, and said people should not be short-changed because there are elections coming.

“I am very excited with this development, as it forms part of the national government’s Catalytic Project. It is good that is within the communities. It is good that we make use of available spaces with the communities, and this will also create job opportunities for people of Gugulethu,” she said.

The project was also welcomed by Ward 40 councillor, Bongani Ngcombolo.

He described it as a “relief”. Mr Ngcombolo said people have been angry with him, and now they will see that there was development.

“It is a huge relief, especially to my ward that has been protesting. I am also happy for backyarders. We have seen the plan, and we are happy, people are happy,” he said.

On a rainy morning, the delegation visited the three sites where houses will be built.