Minister Simmers commence with Garden Route municipal and stakeholder engagement
Commencing with my three-day visit to the Garden Route, yesterday, I engaged the Bitou Municipality, that included the Executive Mayor Peter Lobese and the full council together with the officials. Following this engagement, I also visited the newly elected Knysna Mayor Elrick van Aswegen and had a brief meeting with the Mayco-Members of Knysna Municipality.
Along with my senior executive team, we presented the Western Cape Department of Human Settlement’s funding model, we also used the opportunity to assess the level of compliance with the Covid-19 regulations on all our Human Settlements sites, while also following up on previous commitments made.
In Bitou I confirmed the available funding for the financial year 20/21 was R35 million for housing projects in that area and appealed to the Municipality to use every cent optimally as the current Covid-19 pandemic has forced government to do business in an unusual way. This budget will be allocated to the following projects; Qolweni/Bossiesgif, New Horizon, Kwanokuthula, Zawazawa and Kurland.
In Knysna I confirmed that R56 Million has been allocated for this financial year 20/21. The projects which will benefit from this allocation include; Vision, Hlalani, Ethembeni, Happy Valley, Qolweni, Bloemfontein, Hornlee, ISSP Sedgefield, Witlokasie and Heidevallei.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, all three spheres of government are facing budget cuts, meaning that municipalities must learn to do more with less resources. It is critical that all municipalities consider adding Sustainable Building Technologies (SBT’s) to their housing development mix and identify further creative solutions, so that the citizens can have more diverse human settlements options.
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 in an open opportunity society.