City breaks ground

2016-07-26 10:39
Patricia de Lille, Mayor for the City of Cape Town (centre) unveiled the plans for the construction of 587 houses in Manenberg during a sod-turning ceremony last week.

Patricia de Lille, Mayor for the City of Cape Town (centre) unveiled the plans for the construction of 587 houses in Manenberg during a sod-turning ceremony last week.

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The City of Cape Town’s plans to rejuvenate and upgrade the Manenberg area took another step on Wednesday 20 July when mayor Patricia de Lille announced the commencement of the housing project.

The project, set to commence in March 2017, will see the City spend R123m to build 587 houses as well as the installation of their bulk infrastructures.
Ridwan Brandt (48) has been on the City’s housing waiting list for 20 years and is listed to be one of the beneficiaries of the current project, which had him concerned initially.

“I am kind of happy that things are starting to fall into place. My main concern was just they have laid the roads and trees are starting to grow again where houses were supposed to be built and I think it was a waste of money with what they did. If they started with the project initially from the laying of the roads and building the houses completely finished, there would have been people who would be far better off than they are today,” he says.

De Lille reminds the beneficiaries that the next step in the project forms part of the Integrated Development Plan which was unveiled by the City in 2011. “We were guided by a pledge to do all we can within our mandate to overcome the many generations of spatial and economic exclusion suffered by the people who were forced to make Manenberg their home. Some of our interventions have included the more than R200m spent on the upgrade of the Council’s community residential units in the area.”

An extra R40m was spent to pay for additional costs incurred due to the delays caused by gangsterism and crime, De Lille says.
Other developments – including the installation of the artificial pitch, the installation of floodlights at the sports ground as well as the development of the Manenberg Youth Lifestyle Campus – were announced a year ago and forms part of an R29m investment in the youth of Manenberg over the next three years, De Lille says. “We believe that if the youth are given opportunities, they will not be tempted by the lure of gangsterism and drugs which has torn this community apart for too long,” she says.

She adds that they have completed draft designs of the upgrades which were suggested for the parks and sports facilities and that the public participation process for these proposals will be brought to the community in August, with designs to be finalised by November so that contractors can be on site in time for March next year.

“Housing opportunities will be provided for residents from Manenberg, Surrey Estate, Tambo Square, Sherwood Park and Gugulethu. I have also been told that the project steering committee is an all women team. I am so proud of each of you and I want to thank you for all the hard work that you have put in thus far. Our partnership with you is key to the success of this development,” she says.

De Lille says that based on the 10-year annual growth between 2001 and 2010, the population of Cape Town will swell to 5.8 million people by 2030. “We have also learnt that we have to think innovatively about how we can maximise the number of housing opportunities that we can provide without affecting the quality of delivery.”

What this means is the majority of the development will be in the form of high density housing. “It means that almost 600 families will have an address to a place which physically represents their sense of belonging in our inclusive city. Today sends out a message that we are committed to building Manenberg up, even when so many are intent on breaking it down.

When construction starts here today, we will not just be building houses, but we will be building up this community,” exclaimed De Lille at the event.
Brandt echoed the mayor’s sentiments and says that despite the delayed process, he is happy to see that something is being done to move the project forward. “I actually feel relieved because of what we have experienced as back-yarders, because at least there is light at the end of the tunnel. This is where we are starting to see the light.”

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