"Everyone who was dispossessed of their land must get their land back. There should be no questions [about] whether people should own the land or not."
These were the words Western Cape Human Settlements MEC, Bonginkosi Madikizela, spoke when he handed over 505 serviced sites to Kanana residents in Nkqubela, Robertson on Monday.
"We must create an environment so that people who cannot afford a house, can have a foot in the door by providing infrastructure and by transferring land in the form of a site so they can incrementally build their own homes," Madikizela added.
The Nkqubela project forms part of the department's Upgrading of Informal Settlements Programme (UISP) which aims to improve the living conditions of people living in informal settlements.
According to the department, beneficiaries are people who earn slightly above R3 500 who therefore do not qualify for a full Breaking New Ground (BNG) housing subsidy. They also earn too little to qualify for a bond.
To kick-start the project, the provincial Department of Human Settlements pumped R4.5m into the construction of a reservoir in Nkqubela, within the Langeberg Municipal District.
"I am very happy that this municipality has prioritised this programme," said Madikizela. "This is one of my priority projects that I have been driving. I have always said that too many people have fallen through the cracks."
Langeberg Mayor Henry Jansen said he was happy to see the success of the project despite challenges experienced when the land was invaded in 2015.