Minister Tertuis Simmers engages Velddrif community
Yesterday, Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers addressed residents of Noordhoek, Velddrif after recent violent protest in the area led to the destruction of 53 newly constructed homes.
Minister Simmers said: “I commend the community for allowing frank and open discussions, which presented an opportunity to clarify the criteria that’s being used in the allocation of housing opportunities.
As a reminder the criteria consists of:
- The elderly
- People with disabilities
- Child-headed households
- Those longest (15 years and longer) on the waiting list.
- Backyard dwellers (only for new/Greenfield projects)
I’ve requested that a task team, which must be finalised by Tuesday, 22 October 2019 be established to address the various concerns raised by the community. This team will consist of provincial staff from my Department, an official from the municipality and four community members, who are apolitical. The four community members must be elected by the local community.
This task team, which will review the beneficiary list, must submit it to me by 30 November 2019. They are also required to report to me on a fortnightly basis until the project is completed.
Furthermore, they must also formally inform all affected beneficiaries and or complainants who do not qualify for a Breaking New Ground (BNG) or free housing opportunity, by the end of October 2019.
Although it is estimated that the damage caused is approximately R4,2 million, a full investigation is currently underway and the full extent and cost of the damage will be announced in due course.
I reiterate that under no circumstances can the illegal and quite frankly criminal events of the past few days be condoned or legitimised. The law must take its course with those implicated in the destruction.
I want to encourage this municipalities community members to participate in the housing beneficiary verification and registration drive over the weekend of 9-10 November, to ensure that their details are up to date on the Housing Demand Database.
I will return to the community at the end of November to report back on the progress that’s been made and to further engage them about any other housing related concerns they might have.
As the Western Cape Government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society.”