Farm 694 housing development makes progress

From left are Member of the provincial legislature Ricardo Mackenzie, newly-elected interim DA deputy leader, Tertius Simmers, chairperson of New Woodlands Ratepayers’ Association (RPA), Shahiem van Nelson and provincial human settlements departmental project manager for the housing project, Abdul Rawoot at the New Woodlands housing project site on Thursday August 19.
Standing in one of the new houses, are from left, Fatima Davids, Prisilla Daniels, Sharief Chowglay, Shahiem van Nelson and Gerald Daniels.
Chairperson of New Woodlands Ratepayers’ Association, Shahiem van Nelson, inside one of the homes at the New Woodlands housing project site.
Western Cape MEC of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers at the housing site on Thursday August 19.

Farm 694 housing development, which will ensure integration between New Woodlands and greater Kosovo residents, is progressing well.

The Plainsman visited the site in New Woodlands on Thursday August 19, with some of the houses nearly completed and names for the streets already hoisted on poles.

The New Woodlands Ratepayers’ Association, the New Woodlands Project Steering Committee, the Western Cape MEC of Human Settlements, and newly-elected interim Western Cape DA deputy leader, Tertuis Simmers and the site managing team visited the site to see how the project was coming along.

The entire development, which consists of various phases, has a combined Human Settlement Development Grant (HSDG) and Urban Settlement Development Grant (USDG) funding of R 293. 7 million.

Phase 1 of the development will see 434 Breaking New Ground (BNG) fully subsidised housing opportunities being created for beneficiaries. Fifty percent of the beneficiaries will come from the New Woodlands area, and 50% will come from the nearby greater Kosovo informal settlement, (“New Woodlands housing project launched”, Plainsman, May 1 2019).

The project is expected to be completed by March 2022.

More than 100 New Woodlands residents received certificates confirming that they are beneficiaries of the New Woodlands Integrated Residential Development Programme (IRDP), (“New Woodlands residents receive promise of new home”, Plainsman, August 11).

The Plainsman has reported extensively on the Southern Corridor Integrated Human Settlement Programme, with the New Woodlands Ratepayers’ Association (WRA) having been in discussions to ensure a 50/50 split of housing opportunities between Kosovo and Mitchell’s Plain residents on the housing waiting list (“Building a home together”, Plainsman, November 27 2019).

Chairman of the New Woodlands Ratepayer Association (RPA), Shahiem van Nelson thanked the delegation for visiting the site. “Thank you for visiting our house, our home. It is amazing to see the progress.

“Our residents are aching to see this, to be here, they can’t wait. In the beginning of this planning, it was challenging. Thank you for providing us with a house somebody else can call a home,” he said.

Mr Van Nelson said their team went door-to-door to inform the residents of this housing project.

Mr Van Nelson said their team will be assisting the Kosovo steering committee with help they may need with their residents and housing information.

The street names were inspired by dance and dance music genres. “It is where two cultures meet. Dance is a universal language,” said Mr Van Nelson.

Mr Simmers said he was very happy to see the progress of the housing project. He said the project steering committees and councillors had met with him previously to tighten the remaining plans on the housing project.

Mr Simmers said: “I’m pleased to note that the first phase of the project is making significant progress. I’m particularly excited about the opportunity we have to bring two areas together, who will now form an integrated community once the qualifying and deserving beneficiaries start moving in.

“Seeing that people from different backgrounds, cultures, languages, creeds and sexual orientation come together is a focal point in addressing the apartheid spatial legacy.

“I’m looking forward to returning to the development towards the end of the year, when the first group of beneficiaries will be moving in.”

Mr Simmers thanked both the New Woodlands and the Greater Kosovo Project Steering Committees (PSCs) for their continued effort and work to ensure that this project is a success and urged that remaining challenges and disputes be resolved so that it does not affect any part of this project.

Mr Simmers said residents have waited a long time for this opportunity. “You have taken ownership of this housing project. No invasions of land or the site have taken place. Once we hand over the house keys, please take ownership of your new home. Don’t sell it, don’t rent it out, take ownership of it. Take pride in what the state has given to you,” he said.

“As the Western Cape Government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society,” said Mr Simmers.