Construction Begins for Domestic Worker Housing Project
The Western Cape Department of Human Settlements is proud to announce that construction for the 219 unit Thembelihle Project in Buck Road, Pelican Park has commenced with the construction phase as of 19 June 2014.
Western Cape Human Settlements Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela today visited the site, along with the local Ward Councillor Shaun Davids, and members of the newly elected Project Steering Committee (PSC), who represent the different groups of people who will be accommodated in the project.
“I am very happy that construction on the project has started, and that people who contribute valuable services to the economy, such as domestic workers, will be accommodated. I hope that construction can proceed smoothly and quickly so that the people can get their houses as soon as possible” said Minister Madikizela.
The project, with a budget of R41m, is unique as 64 of the opportunities will be for domestic workers belonging to the Thembelihle Housing and Savings Group. A further 14 opportunities are to go to beneficiaries who could not be accommodated on nearby housing projects.
The remaining opportunities will then be divided equally between qualifying domestic workers vulnerable groupings (women headed households, the elderly and those with special needs) on the City of Cape Town’s housing list as well as further qualifying beneficiaries on the City of Cape Town’s housing list.
All qualifying beneficiaries need to meet the National Housing Subsidy Scheme (NHSS) criteria, which stipulates that the beneficiary must be a South African citizen, earn R 3 500 per month or less and not have benefitted from the NHSS before, amongst other requirements. The housing on the project has been designed to meet BNG standards, with 40 m2 units having two bedrooms, and thermal insulation and weatherproofing in accordance with SANS standards.
Established in 1999, the Thembelihle Housing & Savings Group (TH&SG) is a community based organization, whose constituents are domestic workers. The members initiated the project in order to save so that they might realize decent housing opportunities. TH&SG met regularly to review progress, plan and administer the money set aside. The objective of their efforts was to own a decent, affordable and well located house.
After lengthy engagements with the City of Cape Town and the Department of Human Settlements (Previously branded Provincial Government of the Western Cape), Erf 934 in Pelican Park was released for development in November 2008 and approval was then granted, requesting that the Thembelihle Domestic Workers Housing Project be a pilot for a high density housing development
The allocation of housing opportunities to domestic workers who are registered on the housing list, along with the vulnerable groupings reflects the Departments focus on finding a balance between providing housing for those sectors of the community who may have been previously overlooked for housing opportunities, those with special needs and the elderly, along with prioritizing the use of the City of Cape Town’s housing list.
A project steering committee, or PSC, has been democratically elected by the beneficiaries to represent their interests, and the Department will work closely with the community, via the PSC, to ensure that quality houses are delivered.
The construction will begin with the clearing of the site, and the houses are expected to be complete by the end of March 2015. As part of the project’s Environmental Management Program, a search and rescue operation has also been carried out to ensure that any protected or endangered flora or fauna are identified and relocated.
The Department encourages all those interested in accessing state housing opportunities to ensure that they are registered on the City of Cape Town’s housing list, so that they can be considered for future housing opportunities. It’s very important that people registered on the housing list also keep their current residential and contact details updated, so that they can be contacted when housing opportunities arise.