Homes bring hope

2016-04-26 06:00
The first 30 units of the Heideveld Housing project were handed over to beneficiaries during after a key presentation ceremony last week. PHOTO: Earl Haupt

The first 30 units of the Heideveld Housing project were handed over to beneficiaries during after a key presentation ceremony last week. PHOTO: Earl Haupt

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The day finally arrived on Tuesday last week for 30 beneficiaries of the Heideveld housing project to have the keys to their new homes officially handed to them.

For Louis Solomons (63), it has brought an end to a 38-year wait to have a place to call his own, after living nomadically between Bishop Lavis, Delft, Mitchell’s Plain and Wesbank.

“This is a huge relief and pleasure to be able to hold my own house’s key in my possession. I never thought that this would become a realisation. I thought that I may have passed on by the time I would have gotten a house – 38 years of waiting.”

Solomons was the first to have his key handed to him by Patricia de Lille, mayor for the City of Cape Town.

She said that the R105m project to build 738 houses, which started in 2009, should be completed by the end of June next year.

“Residents from often overcrowded conditions in Heideveld, Vanguard Estate, Welcome Estate, Bonteheuwel and Gugulethu are going to come together and have a place to call home here between today and June 2017 when the project is complete.

“We will also be ensuring that, in the spirit of inclusivity, 37 of the houses will be allocated to beneficiaries with special needs like the physically disabled,” she said.

De Lille addressed approximately 100 people at the Cathkin Community centre before going out to the site, in Reserve Peak Road, to hand over the keys to their respective owners.

“This project will come to be known as a milestone in our quest to build an inclusive city. Each one of the beneficiaries present here today also has their own story of both hardship and perseverance,” she said.

Faieek and Patricia Fenton (54) are excited at the prospect of finally having a home in which they and their three children and two grandchildren can live together in.

“I have been waiting for this house since 1981,” said Patricia.

“I have been living with my mother-in-law, with my own mother, then back to the mother-in-law and back to my mother again. Now, after 36 years, I have my own house, so I don’t have to worry anymore. It is exciting.”

De Lille urged the new homeowners to be vigilant and not allow social ills to infect and permeate the new neighbourhood.

“Don’t just walk by when you see someone uses this opportunity to start a shebeen. Don’t turn the other way when you see that what was meant to be a family home becomes a tik house. Do not let negative elements and criminals take this fresh start from you,” she stated.

Mugidein Barnes, the Heideveld Neighbourhood Watch representative on the community policing forum, says they are overseeing the formation of a new unit to help keep the area safe. Barnes says there was a relatively good turnout at one of the meetings in which they managed to sign up almost 50 members to the new formation.

“Goudiniand Groenberg roads are forming a neighbourhood watch. They started officially patrolling as of Monday 18 April. We wanted to establish a group there because of the new housing project, so that when people move in they will see that there is a structure in place. We are also going to mobilise them to join that structure, because people need to take responsibility of the area and that is why we are mobilising all streets in Heideveld,” he says.

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