Cape Town mayor hands over keys to new homes

2014-04-22 13:26
Patricia de Lille (Picture: Die Burger)

Patricia de Lille (Picture: Die Burger)

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Johannesburg - Two Ocean View residents were handed the keys to their innovative new homes by City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille on Tuesday.

The two stone-clad houses are the first in a project seeking to harness local skills and material to build more aesthetically pleasing, subsidised housing.

"I think that this project, which is part of the World Design Capital programme, is a remarkable example of everything that is possible when we work together creatively to fix old problems," De Lille said in a speech prepared for delivery.

"By 2015, 543 houses will have been built here at a cost of R46m. Not only will these houses give people dignity, they will be reminders of everything that is possible when communities come together and work with the city to transform the way that they live."

Two years ago, the city had appointed architects who specialised in stonemasonry design and construction.

They were instructed to use local sandstone, found on the site, in the new homes.

In March last year, an accredited stonemason from France had joined the team and helped with the construction of the first two houses.

"Thirty local trainee stonemasons have undergone an intensive six-month training course, and they now form part of the construction team. This team includes five female stonemasons," De Lille said.

"Also at the heart of the project is a labour-intensive construction method, and, to date, the expanded public works programme has employed a total of 497 workers on the site."

De Lille said one of the recipients of a house, Jane Arendse, had been living in the Mountain View informal settlement since 1986.

The other recipient had not had a fixed place of residence for the past two years, and had been on the waiting list since 1999.

"I think we should all be proud of these houses and the example that they set for 'out-of-the-box' thinking", she said.

"I know that we will be taking the lessons we have learned here and applying them to human settlements projects across the city," she said.

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