New home for family

2018-01-16 06:00
The Banjatwa family recieved assistance moving their belongings into their new home last month.

The Banjatwa family recieved assistance moving their belongings into their new home last month.

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The City of Cape Town’s Mayco member for area central, Siyabulela Mamkeli, and officials from the Transport and Urban Development Authority assisted the Banjatwa family from Nyanga with the move to their new house.

Victor Banjatwa (66), who is in a wheelchair, and his wife Ntombokwenzani moved into their new two-bedroom BNG house situated off Govan Mbeki Road in Manenberg.

“I never thought that I would live to see the day when I will have my own house. We have been living in somebody else’s backyard in Khikhi for five years. I was so excited last night that I could not sleep. I cannot thank the City enough for my new house. I am at peace now, knowing that we will be okay,” says Banjatwa.

Mamkeli says: “Given that he is in a wheelchair, Banjatwa spent most of his days in the informal dwelling which they were renting in Khikhi. He could not get in and out of the structure without help. They also did not have a bed because the dwelling was too small for furniture. I felt immense pride and happiness this morning when I took Banjatwa to his new house that we have adapted to suit his special needs. This is one example of how the City is changing people’s lives for the better.”

The Banjatwa household is among 84 families who moved into their BNG houses in The Downs, Manenberg, in ­December.

“Some 62 households moved in last Christmas already, but the 84 families who moved in recently wanted to wait for the electricity to be switched on. This happened on 16 December. We are celebrating this momentous occasion with these families, the majority of whom are from Manenberg. They are now entering a new chapter in their lives. They can transform the brick houses into real homes. Here they can be at peace and share joyful moments with their loved ones. I am also grateful to our housing officials who worked night and day to make this happen in time for the festive season,” adds Mamkeli.

The Downs project is located on five different sites in Manenberg. Once completed, it will consist of 555 BNG houses.

“The total cost of the 555 BNG houses amounts to R77m, and to date we have finished 146 units. All five sites are close to Govan Mbeki Road, which is a major transport route to and from Cape Town and the southern suburbs. I stated earlier this year that where people live matters. The Downs housing project is a clear example of our intention to develop new housing opportunities on well-located land where lower income families have easy access to public transport,” says Brett Herron, the City’s Mayco member for transport and urban ­development.

Apart from being close to a library, schools, community halls and places of worship, The Downs development is surrounded by open spaces where the families can enjoy the outdoors.

“The City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan prioritises transit-oriented development (TOD), which is the strategy we adopted in 2016 to transform Cape Town’s spatial form. TOD is, in a nutshell, a very important tool we are using to ensure that new developments, such as housing, happen in the right place so that residents spend less time and money on commuting. Lower income households spend up to 43% of their monthly income on transport. Our vision is to create an inclusive Cape Town where more people have access to economic opportunities. Cutting the cost of transport and bringing residents closer to work opportunities are vital components in achieving this,” adds Herron.

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