When President Jacob Zuma handed over a new house to Rachel Manyi, the Kwa-Langa resident – who could not contain her joy – said she had not been given a house, but a home.
“This is a very good day. The wait is over,” she said.
Manyi is one of several beneficiaries who were handed over new homes when President Zuma recently opened the N2 Gateway Integrated Human Settlements Development project in the Western Cape.
The national priority project is designed to address poverty, destitution and homelessness through the elimination of informal settlements.
The President said prior to the launch of the project, housing in the area was not adequate and residents had lived in squalor.
“Government took the decision to improve this place because we realised the hardships that our people faced.
“We wanted to ensure that the N2 Gateway project becomes an important intervention for the national housing initiative. We also realised that in order cater for the needs of the residents of the city, there had to be a change of gear and approach in the way of doing things,” he said.
The N2 Gateway project
- More than R2 billion spent on services and infrastructure.
- 14 000 houses delivered.
- More than 70 000 people have been accommodated.
The President added that government wanted to ensure that the N2 Gateway project not only created housing opportunities, but formed part of an overall strategy to provide other facilities like schools and clinics, as well as correcting apartheid spatial planning by bringing people closer to their workplaces.
Improving quality of life
When President Zuma handed over the houses, he said the human settlements would improve the quality of life of the beneficiaries.
The project, which was approved by Cabinet in 2004, was first rolled out as a pilot project under the Breaking New Ground (BNG) policy and meant to deliver about 20 000 mixed income units.
To date, the project has delivered over 14 000 houses.
The main aim of the pilot project by the Department of Human Settlements is to provide low-cost human settlements that would restore the dignity of locals.
As part of the project 8 000 units are to be completed by 2019.
More than 70 000 people have been accommodated at the project, with more than R2 billion spent on services and infrastructure.
The President said over 12 million South Africans have benefitted from the 3.8 million houses and serviced sites provided by the democratic government since 1994.
“Very soon, we will reach the four million mark in terms of the houses that we have provided, and this is an outstanding achievement given all the odds that we faced since assuming government.
“The national government will also continue with the monitoring and evaluation systems on all our projects to ensure that our people get quality delivery,” he said.
The President added that projects of a similar magnitude to the Western Cape’s Joe Slovo intervention were being rolled out in other parts of the country.
This included projects in Cornubia in eThekwini in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as in Zanemvula in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan in Eastern Cape.
The Cornubia development is located over 1 300 hectares of land connecting the King Shaka International Airport and Umhlanga area.
It is envisaged that it will deliver close to 30 000 housing units and provide shelter to over 100 000 people.
It is expected that the project will cost not more than R25 billion.
The project was also approved by the Cabinet as part of the BNG policy and was launched as a national presidential project in 2008.
The President said government was also rolling out a similar project in Lerato Park in Kimberly in the Northern Cape as well as in Fleurhof, Lufhereng and Cosmo City in Gauteng.
Over 12 million South Africans have benefitted from the 3.8 million houses delivered since 1994.