Making way for new housing opportunities

2016-09-06 06:00

Over 50 structures will be demolished to make way for a new housing project outside Simon’s Town.

The demolition of 53 derelict buildings on the site of the Dido Valley Housing Project was recently approved by council. In their prime, the buildings served as council rental units but their inhabitants were forcefully removed in the 1970s. The buildings have been unoccupied ever since and are in a state of disrepair, with many missing walls and roofs. The structured are valued at a combined R550 000, and are to be replaced by new services and a housing project, which will boast structures valued at around R110m. The investment by the City of Cape Town will also see the construction of a clinic, two parks, a crèche and a business site.

The development will house 600 families, 100 of whom are land restitution claimants who were forcibly removed from Simon’s Town and moved to Gugulethu in 1965.

Last year marked 50 years since the first forced removals from Simon’s Town under the Group Areas Act, which saw families forced to move from Luyolo to Gugulethu. Luyolo was a township established in the early 1900s for workers from the Eastern Cape who were extending the rail line from Simon’s Town to Kalk Bay.

About 1500 people lived there at the time of the forced removals in 1965 (“Families relive local history”, People’s Post, 29 September 2015).

The 18ha site along Dido Valley Road will also house residents from Red Hill and beneficiaries listed on the old Simon’s Town housing list. The project was initially planned in two phases, but will now be developed as a single phase.

Civil construction begins this year and it will take a year before construction of the houses can commence. This will see the expected date for the handover of houses late next year or early in 2018.

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