Today, Western Cape Human Settlements Minister, Tertuis Simmers, held an information sharing session on human settlement matters with the Drakenstein Municipality. Minister Simmers also had the honour of handing over 22 houses to deserving and qualifying beneficiaries in the Vlakkeland housing development in Paarl.
This brings the number of those that have moved into this development since August, to 130.
Minister Simmers said: “I’d like to thank the Executive Mayor, Alderman Conrad Poole, and his council for giving us the opportunity to engage on and share details about our processes. It is very important that all councilors, officials and the community at large have a clear understanding of our budgeting and planning processes, particularly since the Provincial and Municipal financial years differ by three months.”
Provincial government’s financial year commences on 1 April of each year and concludes on 31 March the following year, while Municipalities have theirs between 1 July and 30 June the following year.
Minister Simmers added: “The greatest joy I experienced today was handing over houses to our beneficiaries. Being in a position to handover the keys to a home to a deserving and qualifying beneficiary makes everything we do worthwhile, especially with the smiles we saw on people’s faces today. I’m also pleased to learn that more houses will be handed over on Friday, as a further opportunity is created to improve our people’s lives and restore their dignity.
One of the beneficiaries, 79-year old Ms Sarah Petersen said: “I have waited 41 years for this day to come and this is one of the happiest moments in my life. In all honesty, I did not think that I would ever see something like this happen to me. It is truly unbelievable, and I cannot thank God enough for making all of this possible.”
Vlakkeland is a mixed-use development to which the Western Cape Government has assigned a budget of R453 million. It is envisaged that it will result in 2556 opportunities by the time it concludes in 2023.
“As the Western Cape Government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe and sustainable human settlements – all within an open opportunity society,” added Simmers.