Minister Simmers concludes visit to Cape Winelands District
Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers says that his department’s 3-day visit to municipalities in the Cape Winelands District has helped to ensure that there is a clear understanding of his Department’s planning, budgeting and processing.
Accompanied by his department’s senior executive, Minister Simmers engaged various stakeholders including executive Mayors, Mayoral Committee Members (MAYCO), Councillors and senior management in the Langeberg, Witzenberg, Drakenstein, Breede Valley and Stellenbosch Municipalities. Minister Simmers and his team also conducted an oversight visit at the Transhex Development in Worcester and handed over 22 houses at the Vlakkeland Housing Development in Paarl.
Minister Simmers said: “I’d like to thank all Municipalities and stakeholders for the transparent, sincere and robust engagements. I also wish to express my gratitude to all those who followed these engagements live on our Facebook streaming. It was critical to clarify my department’s funding model and planning processes, particularly since there is a three months difference between the Provincial and Municipal financial years.”
Provincial financial years are from 1 April each year to 31 March the following year, whereas municipalities have theirs from 1 July to 31 June the following year.
Minister Simmers added: “Councils and communities are now empowered with all the factual information and we trust that no distorted versions will be disseminated in communities. Should there be any uncertainties, I’d suggest that community members engage their councillors and municipality to acquire the correct information.
We further used these opportunities to inform the municipalities of our R331 million budget cut we’ve had in our Human Settlements Development Grant (HSDG) since the beginning of the year and to confirm their Human Settlements allocations for the 20/21 financial year. Breede Valley’s allocation is R 70 878 million, Drakenstein R 57 878 million, Langeberg R 11 250 million, Stellenbosch R 32 079 and Witzenberg R 23 407 million.
It was however most pleasing to be in a position to handover homes to 22 deserving and qualifying beneficiaries at our Vlakkeland site in Paarl. One of the beneficiaries, 79-year old Ms Sarah Petersen have been waiting for 41 years to receive her home. This is one of the reasons why our elderly, persons with a certified disability, those that are on the Housing Demand Database for 15 years and longer and our backyard dwellers continues to remain our priority, as we have to restore our people’s dignity.
I was also happy to see how Sustainable Building Technologies are being incorporated at our Transhex Development. This technology will rapidly increase the speed of housing delivery as it takes 2 weeks to complete a two-bedroomed unit.
The Western Cape Government remains committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, safe, resilient and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society.”