Category: <span>Human Settlements</span>

31 August 2022 Media Release: Social Housing Event – Own Haven Housing Association Introduced to Stakeholders

Media Release: Social Housing Event – Own Haven Housing Association Introduced to Stakeholders

31 August 2022

On Monday, 29 August 2022, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) held an event at the municipality’s Fire Station in George to introduce the GRDM Social Housing delivery partnership. After the formal activities, stakeholders conducted a walkabout to view the various proposed sites earmarked for possible Affordable Housing delivery. Although the walkabouts took place, the GRDM recognises that normal basic assessments processes would still need to be conducted and interested and affected parties consulted in the future. The related planning and engineering authorities (e.g. zoning and bulk or civil services studies/applications) of the proposed developments are also important. Considerations together with related public comments and eventual indications of support or objections must be considered before any final decisions can be made.

The introduction of Own Haven Housing Company, the appointed Social Rental Housing Delivery partner, was indeed a historic and prestigious moment and necessity as part of the event. It was attended by the Western Cape Government Minister of Infrastructure, MEC Tertuis Simmers, along with a delegation from his office, Mayors and councillors from the Garden Route District, Human Settlement representatives from the local municipalities in the district, and stakeholders and partners. The event truly highlighted the value of cooperative governance and partnership arrangements between different spheres of government in the aim for delivering affordable housing.

In its role as a leading, enabling, and inclusive district, GRDM believes that the key government strategic plans and interventions which emphasize the need for co-planning, co-budgeting, and co-implementation, as encouraged by the Joint Metro Development Approach (JMDA) and District Development Model (DDM), are essential anchors and important levers of the One Plan strategic approach.

In preparation and foundation of the afore-mentioned event, an earlier Memorandum of Agreement had been concluded formally between GRDM and the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements (WC DoHS), committing themselves as public partners to the long-term development objective of providing affordable housing until June 2025.

In addition, the GRDM’s Human Settlements Department earlier this year held a Strategic consultative workshop on 25th March 2022 with all the projected its development partners and stakeholders during which the concept of an Integrated District Approach to Human Settlement was advocated and promoted. More significantly, GRDM Human Settlement Department intention to align its functions with the local municipalities is an appropriate attempt to meet the requirements of co-planning, co-budgeting and co– implementation, was discussed. GRDM’s Integrated Human Settlements Strategic Plan and Human Settlements Sector Plan were also approved by the GRDM Council this year. According to Mr Mkunqwana of the GRDM’s Human Settlements Unit, these will guide and map the envisaged long-term development of affordable housing typologies in well located areas which spatially promote socio-economic integration and sustainability.

During the well-attended event, focus was placed on GRDM’s long term commitment to affordable housing, represented by the following housing products in well located areas:
• Social Rental Housing;
• FLISP/GAP Individual Home Ownership Schemes; and
• Inclusionary Housing.

Own Haven Housing Company Managing Director, Mr A Wiseman, delivered a brief background on how his company was established twenty years ago and their experience in the social housing sector. He explained how Own Haven initiated a partnership with a Dutch social housing company who were experts in this field, and with the East London Municipality at the time. In this way, South Africans and its broader context were introduced to the concept of social housing.

“We were established as the developer and management entity of the first housing project that was developed between Dunkin House Housing Association in the Netherlands and East London Municipality, a mere 380 units situated just outside Dunkin Village. Also, to offer a housing career to its residents, key to the presentation is that social housing is a permanent rental accommodation opportunity for its residents. They may over time choose to migrate to preferred alternative forms of individual ownership. In fact, it is not a rent-to-own or a community-owned model, but a step added to a municipality’s housing options and promotion of mobility in the affordable housing context.

Residents usually stay for four to six years, and as their families grow or their economic status improves or they relocate for work opportunities, they move on, which results in another family staying in the same apartment,” Wiseman said.
Clarification of the roles and responsibilities in delivering and managing rental housing opportunities in well-located areas to facilitate socio-economic integration over the long run was also shared. Also, Own Haven’s role in ensuring mobility from poverty entrapment zones to restructuring zones was elaborated on.

During his address, Alderman Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor of the GRDM told the audience that his adrenaline is pumping because Human Settlements is such an imperative and sensitive matter. “Colleagues in Human Settlements, there will always be tensions; there will always be instigators and “naysayers”. In Bitou, I witnessed trouble makers trying to stop the minister from handing over homes to the beneficiaries. However, I would like to commend Minister Simmers for setting the tone during an event that could have turned disastrous. You stood your ground and you led by example. You showed us that we should not let troublemakers stop the government from forming partnerships with beneficiaries – our communities.”

In his speech, he encouraged officials and attendees not to let anyone stop the delivery of Human Settlements to the communities. The use of human settlements to cause riots will continue and should not deter us as public authorities to offer appropriate affordable housing opportunities. If the good people rise up and stand together, municipalities can accomplish what government promised to do.

On a lighter note, Ald. Booysen explained that a person can enter any shopping centre or ask anybody whether they are in favour of Integrated Human Settlements and the answer will be yes, but the moment people realise that it will happen in their neighbourhood or that it will happen next to them, “then the not in my backyard or neighbourhood syndrome comes forward”. In conclusion Booysen emphasised that this GRDM Social Housing programme is district driven and will benefit all seven municipalities within the Garden Route. According to him, the GRDM is not trying to play big brother, but are in partnership with all the local municipalities in the district and the Western Cape Government in order to make this project a reality. “Only though partnership we will be able to achieve this, so let’s embrace it.”

MEC Simmers, Minister of Infrastructure for the Western Cape Government, spoke about “The essence of affordable housing partnerships – three spheres of government”. This is linked to the currently reviewed MoA concluded between the WC Government and the GRDM which focuses primarily on the following:
• Municipal accreditation
• Enhancement of the internal institutional capacity of the GRDM’ Human Settlements function

Minister Simmers reflected on the time when he started his journey as MEC of the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements in 2019, and explained that he then committed himself to four basic principles, “I chose the word radical for a specific reason; because I believe that you cannot continue doing the same thing and expect a different outcome. If so, you are failing the people you need to lead towards a better quality of life for if we do not do that, we will be failing our people. For that reason, I chose the word radical, because it means different inclinations, innovation and that you can do things and take your key stakeholders along on the journey,” Simmers stated in his speech.

According to MEC Simmers as the Western Cape Government, on our journey to roll out integrated human settlements, we need partnerships. I am glad I was chosen to speak on this topical matter. The reality is the fiscus is getting less and the budgets in terms of Human Settlements are getting smaller. Therefore, the logical thing to do is to expand our base of partnerships,” he said.

MEC Simmers further explained that in 2019 he could not ‘get his head around’ how social housing funding works. “Houses are built; bases are expanded; no profit is made, and multi-million rand budgets are spent. However, at an information session, I learned that partnerships are essential. Also that there is funding available in the world to organisations that have a clear, solid, policy framework. This gives organisations a clear plan on how a budget will be spent.” He shared with the attendees that the GRDM is the first district municipality in WCG history with whom they have entered into a partnership, because in his opinion, a district municipality forms part of the local government ‘family’, although their role may have changed, they still have a mandate to carry out. The MEC encouraged municipalities to work together and to make communities part of their journeys. He called on councillors to become the voice of their communities and to embody the partnerships which honour the visions of the provincial and national governments.

In conclusion, MEC Simmers mentioned that there is a total distortion of what affordable and social housing is, but that affordable housing is the core focus of the WCG. “If you are a councillor and you don’t understand the concepts yet, you really need to wake-up and contact the WCG Human Settlements Department in order to be empowered with the requisite skills. It is said that when you start with the end in mind, you will know what bridges to cross to get you to the end,” he said.

After the formal program, the following sites were visited as potential sites for planned developments:

• Erf 26823, Omega Street, George (owned by GRDM)
• Erven 6236, 6231, 659, 658, CJ Langenhoven Street, George (Owned by the Department of Public Works)
• Erven 140-143, Plantation Road, George (Owned by Department of Public Works)
• Erven 152-155, Barrie Road, George (Owned by Department of Public Works)

The GRDM intends to build therefore the aforementioned affordable housing options based on choice and different needs relative to government gazetted combined monthly income thresholds which are for those earning between R1850 – R22 000 respectively. These consists of FLISP/GAP individual ownership opportunities. Social rental housing opportunities will be developed and managed over the long term by Own Haven, as the formally appointed GRDM Social Housing delivery partner. Individual home ownership schemes like FLISP/GAP on the hand will be handled by the latter or alternatively, by appointed contractors as per the GRDM’s Supply Chain Management procurement processes.

29 May 2022 PUBLIC NOTICE: Invitation to register on the GRDM Housing Demand Database

PUBLIC NOTICE: Invitation to register on the GRDM Housing Demand Database

For Immediate Release
29 May 2022

Are you a resident of Bitou, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay, Hessequa, Oudtshoorn or Kannaland and looking for an opportunity to obtain affordable housing?  Then the Garden Route District Municipality invites you to register on our housing demand database. We are preparing to offer affordable housing to residents and have the following two options. A Social Rental Housing option for households with a combined monthly income between R1 851 and R22 000, and a FLISP option, for households with a combined monthly income between R3501 and R22 000.

In line with the above, we have prepared a standard application form that those interested in Affordable Housing must complete. Forms are available through the following platforms, namely:

  1. At all local Housing offices of the 7 B-municipalities in the district.
  2. All the GRDM sub-offices in the region.

For any related enquiries, please direct them to the GRDM Human Settlements office representatives, namely Ms Shehaam Sims or Mr Headman Mashotha at 044 803 1454.

You have three options to complete the application forms.

  1. Submit it to your Local Municipality’s Housing Section
  2. Submit it at any of the Garden Route District Municipality offices in the region
  3. E-mail a scanned copy of the forms to info@gardenroute.gov.za

Please note that your form is not a subsidy application however, feel free to contact your local Municipality’ Housing Office should you require any further details.

CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW AND DOWNLOAD THE FORMS

DEMAND DATABASE FORM-Afrikaans

DEMAND DATABASE FORM-ENGLISH

DEMAND DATABASE FORM-isiXHOSA

 

ADDRESSES OF GRDM OFFICES IN THE DISTRICT

Garden Route District Municipality’s Head Office is based in George at the following address:
54 York Street
George
6530

Knysna Sub-Office
Tel: 044 382 7214
Address: 24A Queen Street, Knysna, South Africa, 6570

Mossel Bay
Tel: 044 693 0006
Address: C/O Marlin & Samson street, Extention 23, Mossel Bay, South Africa, 6506

Plettenberg Bay
Tel: 044 5011600
Address: 4 Virginia Street, Plettenberg Bay, 6600

Oudtshoorn
Tel: 044 272 2241
Address:
15 Regent Street, Oudtshoorn, South Africa, 6620

Riversdale
Tel: 028 713 2438
Address: 24 Mitchell Street, Riversdale, South Africa, 6670

Roads Services (George)
Tel: 044 803 1500
Address: Mission Street, George Indistria, George, South Africa, 6530

Community Services
Tel: 044 803 1522
Address: Mission Street, George, Western Cape, South Africa, 6530

Fire Services (George)
Tel:
044 805 5071
Address: 17 Pioneer Road, Pacaltsdorp Industria, George, 6530

25 April 2022 Media Release: Minister Simmers engages Municipal Executives on Human Settlements matters

Media Release: Minister Simmers engages Municipal Executives on Human Settlements matters

 For Immediate Release
25 April 2022

 Today, the newly appointed Western Cape Minister of Infrastructure, Tertuis Simmers engaged Mayors, Deputy Mayors and MAYCO Members for Human Settlements from all Municipalities across the Province. This engagement which forms part of Minister Simmers’ annual outreach programme, sought to amongst others ensure that municipal executives are empowered with relevant information around the various amendments that have recently occurred within the human settlements space, as well as who is being prioritised for a Fully State subsidised/Breaking New Ground (BNG) house.

Amongst others and particularly in the Affordable Housing space, these amendments included the revised Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) that is now called ‘Help me Buy a Home,’ and how more residents with a household income between R 3 501 – R 22 000 can access this subsidy. Previously, residents had to first obtain a mortgage before they could apply for this subsidy. However, since 1 April this has now been delinked, which means that it can be accessed through other sources of funding.

These include:

  1. Housing loans granted or guaranteed by a pension and provident fund.
  2. Unsecured housing loans from any registered lender.
  3. Housing loans granted or guaranteed by cooperative- or community-based savings scheme or stokvels as they’re commonly known.
  4. Housing loans supported by employer-based schemes.

The qualification criteria for Social Housing has also been slightly amended from R 1 500 – R 15 000 to a gross monthly income of R 1 850 – R 22 000. This now ensures that more residents are able to access an opportunity within the rental space since with this offer a beneficiary will never own the home. It is important to note that the rental payment in this option is 50% less than what is being charged within the market. The 50 Informal Settlements that have been identified for a variety of upgrade interventions through our Informal Settlements Upgrade Partnership Grant (ISUPG) were also highlighted. Pertaining to who could potentially qualify for a BNG unit, the criteria is:

–           The elderly (60 years and older)

–           Those living with a medically certified disability

–           Those longest on the housing demand database (15 years and longer)

–           Backyard dwellers (this is unique to the Western Cape)

–           Military Veterans (Important to note that we only build the houses. The entire administration process is managed by the National Department of Military Veterans)

–           Child-headed household (NB. Still awaiting clarity from the National Government)

It should be noted that these residents must be registered on the Housing Demand Database (HDD).

Minister Simmers said: “I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to all municipal executive members for their robust engagement as it pertains to human settlements. Municipalities are a critical cog in the delivery of human settlements opportunities and being in partnership with them is key for us. The engagement proved to be fruitful and our municipal executives are now better placed to take human settlements forward in their respective municipal areas.”

Minister Simmers continued: “I’m now looking forward to further engaging Councils across the province so that all Councillors and relevant officials are equally empowered with the correct information. Human settlements is a concurrent function and the more we work together, the more we will be able to ensure the swift delivery of housing opportunities.”

Western Cape Minister of Infrastructure, Tertuis Simmers (right) with Ald. Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor of the Garden Route District Municipality.

Media Enquiries:

Marcellino Martin
Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers

Marcellino.martin@westerncape.gov.za

021 483 3397 (o)
082 721 3362 (m)

Or

Mr. Nathan Adriaanse
Director: Communication and Stakeholder Relations

Nathan.adriaanse@westerncape.gov.za

021 483 2868 (o)
083 263 1720 (m)

29 March 2022 Media release: Western Cape Human Settlements opens Individual Subsidy Applications on 1 April 2022

Media release:  Western Cape Human Settlements opens Individual Subsidy Applications on 1 April 2022

For immediate release
29 March 2022

On 1 April, the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements will open applications for its Individual Subsidy. Applications only open once a year, in April, and close as soon as the subsidy allocation limit has been reached.  The Individual Subsidy is aimed at residents with a household income of between R0 and R3500, and allows one to: buy an existing house; buy a house on a plot-and-plan basis, or finish an incomplete house. The subsidy amount is just over R200,000 and is paid directly to a seller, conveyancer, financier or contractor, depending on the case. Successful applicants will receive this subsidy only once.

There are various housing subsides available from the Department that does not require citizens to wait for a government housing development in your area. Assistance provided via the Individual Subsidy allows residents to, for example, identify a house for sale for the subsidy amount, or use it as a top-up, to purchase a home. As there is a limited budget, assistance with this subsidy is only provided once a year and is allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis. Priority will be given to applicants who are elderly or have special needs (ie. disabled).

“The Individual Subsidy is one of the subsidy programmes that can assist Western Cape residents with a housing opportunity, without waiting for a specific government housing development to be built in an area. The subsidy can be used to purchase an existing house or to build a house on a vacant plot owned by the applicant” commented Ms Phila Mayisela, Acting Head of Department.

To qualify for this subsidy residents must :

  • Be registered on the housing demand database (ie. waiting list)  at your nearest municipality;
  • Must have been on the housing database for a minimum period of 10 years in Cape Town, and 5 years in areas outside of Cape Town;
  • Be a South African citizen or have a permanent residency permit;
  • 18 years or older;
  • Be married or living with a partner;
  • Be single or divorced, and have proven financial dependents living with you permanently;
  • Not have owned a property before;
  • Earn a monthly household income of R3500 or less, before deductions;
  • Not have received a housing subsidy from the government before.

Western Cape residents who are still on the waiting list, meet the qualification criteria, and are interested in applying for the Individual Subsidy, are urged to submit their applications from 01 April at the Department of Human Settlements offices in Cape Town. More information, including application forms, for this subsidy, can be found on the Department’s website.

 

Click on the link to download the Individual Subsidy Booklet: Individual Subsidy Booklet

 

-End-

Media Enquiries:

Mr Nathan Adriaanse

Director: Communication and Stakeholder Relations

Nathan.adriaanse@westerncape.gov.za

021 483 2868 (o)

083 263 1720 (m)

 OR

 Marcellino Martin

Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers

Marcellino.martin@westerncape.gov.za

021 483 3397 (o)

082 721 3362 (m)

17 March 2022 Media Release: The GRDM Proudly Prepares Itself as a Provider of Sustainable Housing Opportunities

Media Release:  The GRDM Proudly Prepares Itself as a Provider of Sustainable Housing Opportunities

For Immediate Release
17 March 2022

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) has now positioned itself to be a provider of affordable housing. This is in addition to the support role that it plays to the seven local municipalities, namely, Bitou, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay, Hessequa, Oudtshoorn and Kannaland.The GRDM has developed a Human Settlements Strategy, which will guide the development.

Four staff members have, to date, been appointed at the GRDM Human Settlements Division, with funding from the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements (WC DoHS).  The most recent appointments were that of a Town Planner who will assist with Spatial Planning, Town Planning Authorities and Project Feasibilities and an Administration Officer who will concentrate on the Demand Data Base and Subsidy Administration.

In the near future GRDM will make announcements about the Affordable housing opportunities:

  1. Social Rental Housing – for households whose monthly income is between R1501 and R15 000
  2. Student accommodation
  3. Finance Linked Individual Projects (FLISP) – This is an ownership program targeting potential beneficiaries whose monthly income is between R3501 and R22 000
  4. Inclusionary Housing – This is a new ownership concept that encourages partnerships between the GRDM and various private developers, employers, etc.

 Milestones achieved during the 2021/22 Financial year 

  • Formulated an Integrated Human Settlements (IHS) Strategic Plan;
  • Established an organisational structure for the newly established Human Settlements Division;
  • Prepared a draft Municipal Accreditation Business Plan, which awaits final approval by both the Provincial and National Departments of Human Settlements;
  • Worked with the seven B-municipalities to ensure a coordinated and structured approach in dealing with the District Development Model;
  • Appointed a Social Housing partner, Own Haven, to develop Social Housing; and
  • Appointed an external consultant team to assist with the formal production of a Human Settlements Sector Plan  which will show the program for the various projects.

More significantly, the GRDM Human Settlement Department has begun to align its functions with the Garden Route’s local municipalities in an attempt to meet the requirements of co-planning, co-budgeting and co– implementation.

Public Service Sector Education and Training Authority (PSETA) 

GRDM Human Settlements, in conjunction with Cape Peninsula University of Technology, are hosting two interns namely Messrs. Lubabalo Ketani and Loyolo Ndima.

Alignment to the District Development Model (DDM)/Joint Metro Development Approach (JMDA)

 GRDM has been identified as one of the District Councils in South Africa where the District Development Model will be piloted.

The DDM approach will strengthen cooperation between the following stakeholders:

  • GRDM
  • Hessequa, Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, Bitou, Oudtshoorn and Kannaland
  • WC DoHS
  • National Department of Human Settlements (N DoHS)
  • Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA)
  • Housing Development Agency (HDA)
  • SHRA Accredited Social Housing partners
  • Private developers

These relationships will enable the GRDM to plan, package, and implement projects in a coordinated manner.

Stakeholder involvement  

Two weeks ago, the GRDM placed an invitation on all their media platforms, inviting interested members of the public to register on an affordable housing demand database. The housing demand database will assist Council with defining the extent to which it rolls out Affordable Housing.

A standard questionnaire, for those interested in Affordable Housing, is still available at the following locations:

  1. The Garden Route Corporate Website at: www.gardenroute.co.za
  2. At all local Human Settlements (Housing) offices of the seven B-municipalities in the district.
  3. All the GRDM sub-offices in the region.

For any related enquiries, please direct them to the GRDM Human Settlements office representatives, namely Ms. Shehaam Sims, Mr. Luyolo Ndima or Mr. Lubabalo Nicholas Ketani at telephone 044 803 1454.

You have three options to obtain and submit the questionnaire.  

  1. Obtain and submit it at a Local Municipality
  2. Obtain and submit it at any of the Garden Route District Municipality offices in the region
  3. E-mail a scanned copy of the forms to info@gardenroute.gov.za

25 February 2022 Public Notice: Demand Database information about Affordable Housing in the Garden Route District

PUBLIC NOTICE:  Demand Database information about Affordable Housing in the Garden Route District

For Immediate Release
25 February 2022

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) recently approved a new Integrated Human Settlements Strategic Plan which will guide its eventual implementation of its affordable housing typologies. This critically requires the determination and understanding of the level of demand and supply from members of the public located in the Garden Route District. In order to be able to do that, GRDM needs therefore to generate an updated demand database mechanism that will assist in preparing its Affordable Housing programmes and projects.

The housing demand database will assist Council with defining the types of Affordable Housing preferences, in line with the expressed interests of members of the public from the various communities within the District.  Such interest should originate from all 7 B-municipalities (Bitou, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay, Hessequa, Kannaland and Oudtshoorn).

In line with the above, we have prepared a standard application form that those interested in Affordable Housing must complete. Forms are available through the following platforms, namely:

  1. The Garden Route Corporate Website at: www.gardenroute.co.za
  2. At all local Human Settlements (Housing) offices of the 7 B-municipalities in the district.
  3. All the GRDM sub-offices in the region.

For any related enquiries, please direct them to the GRDM Human Settlements office representatives, namely Ms Shehaam Sims, Mr Luyolo Ndima and Mr Lubabalo Nicholas Ketani at telephone 044 803 1454.

You have three options to complete the application forms.

  1. Submit it at a Local Municipality
  2. Submit it at any of the Garden Route District Municipality offices in the region
  3. E-mail a scanned copy of the forms to info@gardenroute.gov.za

Download documents here:

GRDM Demand Database INFO on Affordable Housing 25 FEB 2022

GRDM Questionaire for Registering Interest in Affordable Housing 25 FEB 2022

02 September 2021 Media Release: MINISTER SIMMERS VISITS INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS IN THE GARDEN ROUTE

MINISTER SIMMERS VISITS INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS IN THE GARDEN ROUTE

On Monday, 30 August 2021, Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers, concluded his outreach to the Garden Route with a visit to the Informal settlements in Sedgefield and Kwanonqaba in Mossel Bay. These visits were to ascertain how the Informal Settlements Support Programme has improved these living standards of the informal dwellers.

Minister Simmers met with key stakeholders, which included the Ward Councilor, the Community Leadership and the appointed NGO, to discuss current the state of the projects as well as future plans.

Minister Simmers said: “It is pleasing to note that the ISSP is making a significant difference in the lives of our people. It remains the priority of the Western Cape Government to ensure our people live in safer and improved conditions, as this will go a long way in restoring our people’s dignity. I’m also delighted to note the good working relationship between the community leaders and the Ward Councillor, as this helps to remove any and all hindrances from projects.”

Through the ISSP, the Department has erected 104 new toilets and taps, as well as upgraded 74 toilets in Sedgefield. The ISSP provides individuals with a service stand with access to running water, sanitation and electricity services. The beneficiaries of the UISP are eligible to apply to build a house on their stand, through one of the government’s other housing subsidies, applicable to qualifying criterion.

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

Media Enquiries: Marcellino Martin

Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers

Marcellino.martin@westerncape.gov.za

021 483 3397 (o) / 082 721 3362 (m)

Or

Mr. Nathan Adriaanse

Director: Communication and Stakeholder Relations

Tel: 021 483-2868 / Cell: 083 263 1720

Nathan.adriaanse@westerncape.gov.za

30 August 2021 Media Release:  Qolweni sod-turning is the start of improved living conditions

30 August 2021

For immediate release

Qolweni sod-turning is the start of improved living conditions

Today, Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers conducted a sod-turning to officially launch the Qolweni 169 Phase 3A Project in the Plettenberg Bay community.

This project, which has a budget allocation of R 33,5 million excluding professional fees, was approved in October 2019. Construction of the 169 units had to commence in January 2021. Due to various challenges between the Bitou Municipality, the contractor appointed by them, and community dynamics, this could not occur.

After numerous community protests, the Bitou Municipality handed the project over to the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements (WCDoHS) on 18 June 2021. Regrettably, the WCDoHS could not immediately commence with the project, as the contractor that was appointed by the municipality threatened the Provincial Department with legal action and an interdict, should the WCDoHS  start with the project.

Minister Simmers said: “Today’s sod-turning is an exciting moment for the people of Qolweni. Now the most vulnerable, particularly the elderly and those living with medically certified disabilities, will have an opportunity to live in improved and safer conditions. This is only the start of our commitment we made to the community in June when this project was handed over to us. The entire Plettenberg Bay can undoubtedly celebrate this joyous occasion.

I call on all stakeholders to ensure that there are no further hindrances or delays in this project. As the provincial and local sphere of government we’re working together and trust that the community will fully participate in this development. This is particularly important in the protection and safeguarding of the site and all materials. Since taking the project over, we’ve had regular and transparent engagements with all stakeholders. We therefore call for dialogue, should any issue for any reason arise.”

This project is expected to be concluded towards the end of 2022.

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

-ENDS-

Media Enquiries:

Marcellino Martin
Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers
Marcellino.martin@westerncape.gov.za
021 483 3397 (o)
082 721 3362 (m)

or

Nathan Adriaanse
Director Communication & Stakeholder Relations
Nathan.Adriaanse@westerncape.gov.za
021 483 2868 (o)
083 263 1720 (m)

1 July 2021 Media Release: Western Cape Human Settlements Budget will empower residents in the Garden Route

Media Release: Western Cape Human Settlements Budget will empower residents in the Garden Route

For Immediate Release
1 July 2021

Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers says that his Department’s budget, totalling more than R 2.35 billion for the 2021/22 financial year, will help to qualify and deserving Garden Route District residents improve their lives.

Accompanied by his senior executive team, including the Acting Head of Department, Ms Phila Mayisela, virtual meetings were held with the Kannaland, Oudtshoorn, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay and Hessequa Municipalities. Full Municipal Councils were present in each meeting. A virtual meeting with the Garden Route District concluded the engagements.

Minister Simmer said: “I enjoyed engaging the various Councils, even though we had to conduct the meetings on a virtual platform due to the current increases in COVID-19 cases and the adjusted alert level 4 restrictions. It is unfortunate that we could not engage the Bitou Municipality due to the current instability in that Council.

I am particularly happy that the Councils are in full support of our strategic priority area, which is to create opportunities in the affordable housing market. This is particularly important, as more than 70% of the province’s citizens are employed, while in the Garden Route District itself, more than 80% of the residents are in a form of employment.

This means these residents who are registered on the Western Cape Housing Demand Database and have expressed a need to be assisted by the State, would in all likelihood not qualify for a free, fully subsidised housing opportunity, as their household income could be between R 3 501 – R 22 000.”

These affordable housing opportunities include the Non-Credit Linked-, Credit Linked- and Finance Linked Individual Subsidies (FLISP). It also includes the Credit Readiness Programme, which is linked to FLISP, which assists those currently seeking to acquire a property but who would first need to improve their impaired credit record.

Breaking New Ground (BNG) free housing units will still be offered to those earning between R 0 – R 3 500 per month, noting that the elderly, people living with certified disabilities, those who have been 15 years and longer on the Western Cape Housing Demand Database (WCHDD) and backyard dwellers will be prioritised.

Furthermore, the new Informal Settlements Upgrading Partnership Grant (ISUPG), which amounts to just over R 457 million for the entire province, is a people-centred and partnership-based approach to support informal settlement residents across the Western Cape. It will ensure that more than 74 000 households in various informal settlements across the province will experience an improvement in their area.

This programme will be implemented in Thembalethu and Wilderness Heights, both in the George municipal area, Zoar in Kannaland, Vision, Rheenendal and Sedgefield, all located in the Knysna municipal area and in Mossel Bay.

Minister Simmers added: “It was pleasing to confirm that the fund we proposed previously, and now known as the Western Cape Asset Finance Reserve for Human Settlements, is finally a reality. This reserve has been created for human settlements to augment the insufficient Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) allocations in municipalities, as well as assist municipalities to unlock the value of strategic assets including land and buildings.

It will also assist with job creation initiatives, including developing business/industrial hubs and other initiatives. As part of the broader criteria to access the fund, municipalities should focus on creating affordable housing opportunities.”

The allocations to municipalities of their combined Human Settlements Development Grant (HSDG) and ISUPG for the 21/22 financial year are:

Kannaland: R 6.1 million

Oudtshoorn: R 12. 4 million

Knysna: R 46. 6 million

George: R 97. 1 million

Mossel Bay: R 211. 3 million

Hessequa: R 35. 1 million

Bitou: R 33. 2 million

“It is further unfortunate that due to the current COVID-19 alert level, we could not conduct the sod turning event in Melkhoutfontein for the new housing project, nor hand over any houses and title deeds in George and Slangrivier respectively. Along with the George and Hessequa Municipalities, we hope to find dates in due course to complete these activities, so that our deserving and qualifying residents can benefit in this empowering manner.

I’d also like to state that we remain committed to working hand-in-hand with local authorities, as they are a critical and strategic partner in the delivery of housing opportunities. It is my hope that they will share the information we presented with their residents, so that we can maximise housing opportunities across our province.

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,” added Simmers.

Media Enquiries:

Marcellino Martin

Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers

Marcellino.martin@westerncape.gov.za

021 483 3397 (o)

082 721 3362 (m)

Or

Nathan Adriaanse

Director Communication & Stakeholder Relations

Tell: 021 483 2868

Mobile: 083 2631720

Email: Nathan.Adriaanse@westerncape.gov.za

28 June 2021 Media Alert: Western Cape Human Settlements budget heads to Garden Route

Media Alert: Western Cape Human Settlements budget heads to Garden Route

For Immediate Release
28 June 2021

Dear Editors & Members of the Public

Kindly note the reminder below. Also, note due to the adjusted alert level 4 as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 27 June 2021, all Municipal Council engagements will now be virtual.

Further to this, the planned Qolweni site visit and Slangrivier title deed handover have been postponed until further notice. Minister Tertuis Simmers and the team from the Provincial Department of Human Settlements will also no longer be based at the Garden Route District Municipal Chambers.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

 

MEDIA ALERT: WESTERN CAPE HUMAN SETTLEMENTS BUDGET HEADS TO GARDEN ROUTE

28 June 2021

Today, Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers will commence with his Ministerial outreach to the municipalities across the Garden Route District. Along with presenting the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements’ budget for the 2021/22 financial year, various other critical human settlements matters will also be discussed.

Joined by his senior executive officials, Minister Simmers will meet with full Municipal Councils. A virtual meeting with the Kannaland Municipality will kick-off the engagements.

On Tuesday, 29 June 2021, virtual engagements will occur with the Oudtshoorn and Knysna Municipalities.

On Wednesday, 30 June 2021, virtual engagements will occur with the George and Mossel Bay Municipalities.

On Thursday, 1 July 2021, a virtual engagement will occur with the Hessequa Municipality.

Citizens and the media across the Garden Route District can follow the different proceedings live on Minister Simmers’ Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/HumanMinWC

Media Enquiries:

Marcellino Martin

Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers

Marcellino.martin@westerncape.gov.za

021 483 3397 (o)

082 721 3362 (m)

Or

Nathan Adriaanse

Director Communication & Stakeholder Relations

Tell: 021 483 2868

Mobile: 083 2631720

Email: Nathan.Adriaanse@westerncape.gov.za