More than 100 residents move to new homes in Boystown, Nyanga, before Christmas
The Western Cape Department of Human Settlements is currently in the process of relocating 235 informal settlement residents, and their families, to their new homes in Boystown, Nyanga. The Department commenced relocations on 2nd December and have thus far moved over 90 families, with the remaining families to be moved by 15th December 2021. To create space for construction of the project, beneficiaries were moved to areas including Triangle site, Gqhobasi, Newrest, Open Spaces and Phillippi Temporary Relocation Areas (TRA). These families are now being relocated back to Boystown to take occupation of their new homes.
The Boystown Housing Project commenced in 2010 and will deliver a total of 1,549 units when completed. At present, over 1,120 units have been completed and allocated to qualifying beneficiaries. The current phase of the project (Phase 3) includes a total of 432 units, of which more than 120 houses and 65 service sites were completed and handed over to recipients during July 2020. The project is an in-situ upgrading project, which meant that informal settlement residents had to be relocated off the construction path in order for construction to commence, and are then returned to their new homes as construction phases are completed.
Boystown forms part of the greater N2 Gateway Housing Project and is approximately 2 kilometres from Cape Town International Airport. This specific project has, however, experienced many delays over the years which hampered and delayed delivery of completed units to residents. Challenges on site included:
- Residents not willing to move in order for construction to commence.
- Intimidation of contractors on site.
- Non-qualifying residents insisting to be included in project allocations.
Non-qualifying residents are residents that do not qualify for a full government housing allowance due to, for example, being under the age 30 years (not regarded as elderly); having already received some form of government housing assistance; not being registered for assistance on the housing demand database (ie. waiting list); or earning above the R3,500 threshold.
“Moving residents into completed homes before mid-December is vital in order to avoid illegal occupation and vandalism of completed, empty units over the festive period”, commented Acting Head of Department, Ms Phila Mayisela. “In considering the various challenges this project experienced, the Department is not only encouraged with the steady progress on site at present, but also pleased that many deserving beneficiaries can take occupation of their new homes before Christmas this year. For many beneficiaries, it has been a very long journey to receiving their homes” she added.
The Boystown Housing project will be completed by April 2022.