New homes for backyarders by 2021

New Woodlands resident, Abeeda Carolisen, questioning the panel, and Grant Twigg, Mayco member for urban management.

A total of 404 houses will be built, ready for New Woodlands and Kosovo backyard dwellers to move in by March 2021.

The R212 million project forms part of the Southern Corridor Integrated Human Settlement Programme that is registered with the national Department of Human Settlements and which is a joint initiative with the City of Cape Town (“New Woodlands housing project launched”, Plainsman, May 1).

The housing project, on Erf 694, in Walter Battis Road, New Woodlands, which will yield more than 400 breaking new ground (BNG) housing opportunities, has been in the planning stages for many years and will benefit qualifying residents from the New Woodlands and Kosovo communities.

The BNG strategy aims to promote an integrated society by developing sustainable human settlements and quality housing within a subsidy system for different income groups, said Shahiem van Nelson, chairperson of the New Woodlands Ratepayers’ Association.

Construction is due to start at the end of this month.

At the Ward 75 (Colorado Park, Morgen’s Village, Westgate, Wildwood, Rondevlei Park, Woodlands, parts of Weltevreden Valley, parts of Philippi, Highlands Village, Hyde Park, Westgate, Westgate Mall and New Woodlands) meeting on Wednesday September 11 the community raised their concerns about housing and the discomfort of being a backyard dweller.

A woman from Woodlands, who did not want to be named, asked how long young people need to wait for housing.

“It is not nice to live in a backyard or move around from place to place.”

As part of the New Woodlands project, New Woodlands backyard dwellers will be the beneficiaries of 202 houses and Kosovo backyard dwellers will also receive 202 houses.

Mr Van Nelson said if people are not registered on the City of Cape Town’s housing database and do not meet the qualifying criteria they cannot receive houses.

“Some people woke up too late. It is important that our community be part of what is going on in the community. It is a frustrating time. You win some and lose some as we cannot win all the time. We put in a lot of time into this project,” said Mr Van Nelson.

Michael Jacobs, deputy chairperson of Mitchell’s Plain United Residents’ Forum (MURA), said councillors should not “make and do as they please,” they need to consult with the community before they do anything, he said.

Fadiel Adams, spokesperson for Gatvol Capetonian, said he was happy that houses were being built as people have been dying for housing but questioned why people in squatter camps are crammed together.

“When are we moving our people into vacant land in Wynberg, Rondebosch and Constantia? The City has not built RDP-styled houses where the middle and upper class will be affected. They have no issue developing Mitchell’s Plain with these houses,” he said.

Malusi Booi, the City’s mayoral committee member for human settlements, said this housing project had been primarily earmarked for backyard dwellers. “This process will start soon but we need to be in constant communication with community members,” he said.

For more about the housing project or the New Woodlands Ratepayers’ Association, contact Mr Van Nelson on 083 745 6042.