Minister Simmers rates Gauteng MPL 2 day working visit a success
On Friday, January 27, the Gauteng MPL-delegation for Human Settlements concluded it’s 2 day working visit to the Western Cape. The delegation was taken on site visits of two Social Infrastructure (Human Settlements) projects in Cape Town on Thursday afternoon by the Provincial Minister of Infrastructure Tertuis Simmers. This was followed a bilateral forum on Friday, joined by the departments’ senior management.
Primarily focused on the implementation of Human Settlements projects, the construction phase as well the final product. visits were conducted at the:
1. Belhar CBD
A development that is envisaged to create 4000 housing opportunities, to date has delivered 50% of this target. This mixed-use development caters for Social Housing, Breaking New Ground (BNG) units, military veterans’ units, open market rental units, Help Me Buy A Home and student accommodation. The latest sub-phase to be completed is the student accommodation. It will accommodate 2720 beds for the University of the Western Cape, with the first group of students taking occupancy end of January.
2. Blue Rise Village
The 7.2-hectare project is in Blue Downs, Cape Town a stone throw from the Blue Downs CBD. A prime residential area for young professionals, first time homeowners and those starting a family. Upon completion the development will consist of 423 (1 to 3 bedroom) units ranging from R490,000 to R825,000. To date all 423 sites have been serviced and construction is underway for 50% of the planned units.
Gauteng MPL Mervyn Cirota, who was thoroughly impressed by the efficiency at these projects, said: “We have learnt and seen a great deal of progressive efforts, currently underway in the province and are impressed by this. We have seen the seamless public and private sector partnerships and how beneficial it can be, when executed correctly.”
The delegation formed part of a forum in which presentations focused on the business planning and governance of the Western Cape’s human settlements life cycle. The forum was necessitated by the tough economic backdrop, in South Africa and the demands on the two provinces being more similar than ever. Some of the programmes presented by Minister Simmers’ team are the historic advances made through affordable housing schemes, the Housing APP (WCG).
Highlighting the importance of these engagements, Minister Simmers said: “as a province that has proven to be more advanced in the delivery of affordable housing programmes. It was essential that we shared with our counterparts, the formula as well as the benefits of our innovative schemes, such as Incremental housing and Deferred ownership. Not only did we impart knowledge, but we also learnt that we are faced with similar challenges.”
“These collaborative efforts will ensure that eventually South Africans across the land reap the benefits of a competent state. As the Western Cape Government, we will continue to forge collaborative forums. As these will ensure that we rapidly restore the hope and dignity of our citizens,” concluded Simmers.