From hospital to homes

2019-01-22 06:01
PHOTO: Samantha lee

PHOTO: Samantha lee

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More than 3000 homes will be built in what is said to be a ground-breaking, revolutionary new housing model, developed by the Western Cape Government along with other stakeholders.

Last week Wednesday, Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille officially launched the Conradie Better Living Model Game Changer development on a 22-ha plot of land which once housed the Conradie Hospital.

“This marks a significant milestone in the provincial government’s efforts to redress the legacy of apartheid spatial planning, and to deliver well-located, affordable integrated housing opportunities for citizens living in the province,” said Zille at the launch.

“As we break ground (today), with our partners the City of Cape Town and Concor Construction, we celebrate the realisation of the enormous effort and hard work of a dedicated project team over the past three years. It has not been an easy road to get to this point, but the results will be worth it - the pioneering development of an affordable, mixed-use, residentially-led development close to the Cape Town CBD.”

Western Cape minister for Human Settlements, Bonginkosi Madikizela said he was happy to celebrate the occasion and the culmination of years of hard work.

“We have come a long way to get to where we are today,” he said.

“This ground breaking project we are starting here (today) was a long journey and it gives me great pleasure - as the minister of human settlements in the province - to be here at the Conradie site because we have been trying for years to break ground on this project.”

The project will cost an estimated R3bn , with 3602 residential units built.

“We have a housing backlog of more than 600 000 families, who are waiting for houses and we have a responsibility as a provincial government to make sure we use every space that is suitable for human settlements to deal with this backlog,” said Madikizela.

A complete community will be created on the site.

“Of these [3602 residential sites], 1764 will be subsidised, affordable units. The remaining open market units will help to cross-subsidise the affordable units. The development will also include commercial space, parks and recreational spaces, as well as two new schools,” said Zille.

“The project will also catalyse upgrades to road infrastructure and public transport in the surrounding area and create over 4300 jobs during the operational phase and just over 9300 jobs during construction.”

The site was officially handed over to Concor Construction on Wednesday. Work on the units will start soon.

“We believe the Conradie ‘Better Living Model’ serves as the unique blueprint for how partnerships between different spheres of government and the private sector can deliver well-located housing opportunities for citizens in the future,” said Zille.

“This is a model that we believe the national government should apply in District Six, the prime land on the slopes of Table Mountain over-looking the CBD, which still lies vacant after all these years. In fact, if that property and its budget were transferred to us, we would get the job done for all those still waiting to return to District Six.”

Zille said that should this model prove successful, it would be a revolutionary model that could yield around 100 000 units on national government-owned land in Culemborg, Ysterplaat, Wingfield, Youngsfield and Denel.

“The future holds much potential, and today we celebrate the important milestone that the flagship Conradie project has reached. The Western Cape Government looks forward to working closely with Concor Construction to deliver this development over the next few years,” said Zille.

“This is an enormous milestone because if this project succeeds it will herald a completely new way of doing things. We have a huge backlog and more and more people want to come and live in this province. Many of them are indigent and have nothing. They rely on the state for free basic services.”

She said there was no way they could provide everyone with a free house, however,this initiative would allow people who previously may not have been able to afford a home loan, and can contribute to the rates of a property, the opportunity to own a home in prime, well situated locations in the city.

Mayor Dan Plato said the City was happy to be part of the project.

“This project must be a success. The City and the provincial government will work closely together to ensure this. This is one of the biggest flagship social housing development initiatives in the history of the City and province. We are pleased with the development and the partnership - that two spheres of government can work so closely together to make progress with regard to housing and social development initiatives. There are more to come and I look forward to working to make this a success,” said Plato.

Madikizela said the partnership between the City and provincial government would see many more projects, including the resuscitation of Salt River, among others. “We will use this project as a catalyst to those future projects. This government, in partnership with stakeholders, takes the plight of our people very seriously.”

Mayco member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, who previously worked in the premier’s office, said he was glad to see the development moving forward, recalling it was a game-changer on the cards at that time.

He acknowledged: “We are excited, but there is a lot of work to be done.”

Construction partner, Concor have been working on the project for the last eight months, says CEO Eric Wisse.

“It is a privilege for us to be a part of this project and we are excited. Our purpose is to deliver and enhance the communities that we operate in through the infrastructure that we build. There is no doubt that the Conradie Development project, satisfies that requirement,” said Wisse.

“We look forward to the project going forward. The game-changer project will forever contribute to the model of affordable housing in an integrated, sustainable and affordable way. It will provide families the opportunity to live, learn, work and play in a fully integrated development.”
He added that they hoped this project would become their flagship project and what they became known for.


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