Human Settlements Volunteers Help Build 71 Houses for Mandela Day
Fifty volunteers from the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements registered for the Nelson Mandela International Build Week 14 – 18 July at the Pelican Park Housing Project in Cape Town.
The Build Week was organised by Habitat for Humanity, in partnership with the Pelican Park developer Power Construction and the City of Cape Town. In addition, the event was supported with funding from Nedbank and Samsung. The volunteers were joined on Nelson Mandela’s birthday, the 18 July, by Western Cape Human Settlements Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela, and the Western Cape Human Settlements Head of Department Thando Mguli.
The build had a target of building 67 houses, in order to commemorate the 67 years that the late former South African President Nelson Mandela’s spent in service of social justice. The build superceded expectations, with a total of 71 houses built during the week. The event drew thousands of volunteers from many countries, including South Korea, Germany, Australia, Lesotho, Malawi and the host country South Africa, along with the government and corporate sponsors.
Pelican Park is an 80 hectare piece of land situated near Zeekoevlei, Grassy Park in the Western Cape. The 3 200 house development entails the provision of residential units, made up of a mix of fully subsidised, partially subsidised (the so-called ‘gap market’) and open market properties. In the fully subsidised market the beneficiary households only qualify if they have a combined monthly income of less than R3 500 per month and are currently ‘back yard’ or shack dwellers who have never owned formal housing.
The Pelican Park development was awarded to Power Construction as the turn key developer for the City of Cape Town. This is a flagship project for both the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government as it represents the first Integrated Residential Development for the City of Cape Town and the largest in the Western Cape where families from different income levels will be living together in one cohesive human settlement.
The build demonstrated the type of partnership that Minister Madikizela has stressed as being essential to successful human settlements delivery. In his keynote address, Minister Madikizela said “Its only through partnership that we can deliver sustainable and integrated human settlements. We need the developers to build us quality, innovate houses, we need the financial institutions to assist with financing for potential home owners, and we need the NGOs and beneficiaries to develop a culture of active citizenry, where people are encouraged to move away from position of dependency, to realizing that they have important value to contribute in building our societies, and being the changes they wish to see in the world”
Habitat for Humanity and the Power Group (the contractor overseeing the engineering and construction) have entered into a partnership to foster social development and cohesion in this community. Habitat’s role in partnership with the Power Group is to bring about sustainable change in the lives of the new homeowners by inculcating a sense of citizenship, ownership and the establishment of a cohesive and vibrant new community through Habitat’s Social Facilitation Programme.