On Wednesday, 27 October, Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers welcomed the first residents of phase 3 of the Bothasig Social Housing project. To date, 92 residents have already taken occupancy, with the balance of 222 steadily moving in.
The allocated budget for this ground breaking project was R163,3 million to deliver 314 varied units. Construction commenced at the beginning of November 2019 and concluded earlier this month. The units comprise of studio, one and two bedroom units. Currently, the tenants are paying a monthly rental between R 567 and R 4 950, which is profoundly subsidised to make the units affordable.
Minister Simmers said: “Through developments such as these, we are ensuring that the affordable housing market (those earning between R1 500 and R15 000) are provided with a myriad of housing opportunities. It is particularly pleasing to note that we have an array of tenants that have already moved into this development. This includes pensioners, people living with disabilities and young professionals.
The main premise of social housing is to prepare persons that have not yet acquired their first property to become familiar with paying monthly rental fees, so that when they start paying their bonds after buying a house, they’ll be accustomed to such a financial commitment and upkeep of a home”.
Some of the special features of this development is that it has implemented water-saving techniques in the final construction. The kitchen taps as well as the toilet cisterns have been fitted with modern water-saving mechanisms to reduce water consumption. All lighting lamps used are energy-saving minimum 5w. Centralised hot water plants located on staircase roofs produce energy saving on electricity by regulating temperature and energy requirements to heat water, which is then circulated to residential units.
Simmers added: “I’m also pleased to note that the spatial design of this development ensures safer access and overall greater safety for the residents. These housing opportunities ensures the safety wellbeing of the tenants whilst promoting dignity of the tenants. Furthermore, I was overjoyed to learn that 539 job opportunities were created through this phase of the project. In addition to the created affordable housing opportunities, the much needed job and empowerment opportunities were created.
One of the tenants who is a pensioner, Mr Richard Murdock said: “Living here is really pleasing. I have no complaints, especially since where I lived before, which was in a backroom, I paid R 3 650 per month and now I only pay R 567. I feel safe and secure and my neighbours are quite pleasant to talk to”.
Another tenant who is visually impaired, Mr Khayalethu Quthu added: “I can confidently say that, as compared to where I previously lived at an informal settlement in Khayelitsha, access to information was very limited with regards to schools and job opportunities, however now my world has been completely changed for the better as everything is within my grasp and I have endless possibilities to prosper”.
“As the Western Cape Government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlements delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society” concluded Simmers.