Minister Simmers hands over Slangrivier title deeds and 177 solar geyser panels
Hope is renewed as Minister Simmers hands over Slangrivier title deeds and 177 solar geyser panels to be installed at the Railton housing project.
Yesterday, Thursday 9 November, the provincial Minister of Infrastructure, Tertuis Simmers, visited the Railton housing project in Swellendam. Together with the Executive Mayor, Francois du Rand, they officiated a bricklaying ceremony to signal the commencement of top structure construction.
The Railton housing project is earmarked to yield 950 housing units. The project’s sod turn was conducted in September 2021, with 240 units expected to be handed over before March 2024. The project has also created multiple job opportunities for residents with 70% of vacancies filled by locals.
Minister Simmers surprised the community in attendance with a landmark announcement that 177 houses will be fitted with solar panel geysers - making Railton one of the five projects in which the energy crisis mitigating initiative will be piloted. “I am pleased to announce that my department has committed to fitting 177 houses with solar panels before the end of this financial year. While the Western Cape Government continues to find alternative solutions to mitigate the energy crisis in our country. We will ensure that the most vulnerable members of our communities are not left behind” said Minister Simmers.
Mayor du Rand welcomed the announcement by the Minister. “I want to thank the Minister for his continued investment in Swellendam and for particularly ensuring that this project does not get derailed. I look forward to handing over the first set of house keys to the qualifying beneficiaries.”
Before visiting Swellendam, Minister Simmers made an early start with the handover of title deeds in Slangrivier. Joined by Hessequa Executive Mayor, Grant Riddles, 45 title deeds were handed out at the ceremony. In 2009, the department initiated a programme to register properties in favor of the Slangrivier community. To date, it has registered 568 properties at the end of October 2023, 523 title deeds were awarded to beneficiaries.
Today’s ceremony marked the successful completion of the programme, with all 568 registered properties being transferred to beneficiaries of Slangrivier. Minister Simmers, remarked on the closing of a painful chapter and emancipating the community. “In the early 90’s families in this town were devasted when it was found that their town had been sold to private owners unbeknown to them. However, in 2009, the Western Cape Government committed to redress this unjust act, today I am proud to stand here and hand over the final batch of title deeds. The hope of Slangrivier has been restored.”
“Part of today’s event was to commemorate Disability Awareness Month, with a few beneficiaries being individuals with disabilities. As was the case with the visually impaired Mr. Isa Van Wyk and Mrs. Maria Pieters. It is with a great sense of pride and joy to handover title deeds to these beneficiaries,” said Minister Simmers.