Housing project for Mpumalanga workers

Cape Town - The R1.35bn Spring Valley Housing Project is rapidly taking shape in the heart of Mpumalanga’s coal mining belt.

The development is located on 220 hectares of land in Duvha Park in eMalahleni (also known as Witbank) and targets the lower to middle (“affordable”) housing market.

It consists of 2 951 residential stands for free standing houses and six stands earmarked for the development of sectional title units.

Provision has been made for schools, churches, crèches and retail developments.

The project is aimed at employers who want to assist their workers in obtaining affordable housing and prevent them from having to stay in informal settlements which have sprung up due to a lack of affordable formal housing.

The Spring Valley Housing project is funded in part by International Housing Solutions (IHS) from its R1.9bn SA Work Force Housing Fund.

The fund was launched in SA six years ago with funding from among others North American and Southern African organisations, including Citibank, the Development Bank of SA, the Public Investment Corporation on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

IHS is a global private equity investor which has financed numerous affordable housing projects in South Africa with a total value of almost R8bn to date.

Bigen Africa is the project and development manager.
“There is strong demand for affordable, quality accommodation in the area and the overall Spring Valley development will provide a wide range of options from free standing residential dwellings housing in gated estates to the higher density sectional title units,” said Rob Wesselo, managing partner of IHS.

Bulk services for the first phase have been completed and construction has commenced on a large scale.
To date 500 stands have been sold to MDV Developments Witbank. The company specialises in affordable housing and has already completed about 150 houses.

House prices in the Spring Valley development range between R300 000 and R689 000 for a free standing house.

Anglo American has partnered with the Spring Valley project to make the housing affordable to its employees through the company’s home ownership scheme.
Since awareness campaigns to Anglo American employees began last year, more than 150 transactions have been finalised.

There are already some 45 coal mines operating close to eMalahleni with at least a further four set to start operations in the near future.
These mines supply coal to both export and local markets and also to Eskom’s five operational power stations in the area.
The towns of eMalahleni and neighbouring Middelburg are responsible for 43% of Mpumalanga’s GDP.

- Fin24

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