12 Mar Social housing project launched in the Western Cape
12 March: The National and Western Cape Department of Human Settlements, together with its agency, the Social Housing Regulatory Agency (SHRA), recently launched the Anchorage Social Housing Project in Glenhaven, in the Western Cape.
Human Settlements Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, and Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers, launched the multimillion-rand project, which comprises 512 social housing units.
Construction for the Anchorage Social Housing project started in October 2018. The first phase of social housing is made up of 416 apartments arranged in 4-storey walk-ups in five buildings. To date, 209 of the completed 416 units, as part of the first phase of the project, are occupied. The second phase consists of a single, four-storey building of 96 units.
Lebowa Letsoalo, SHRA Project Development and Funding Executive, explained at the launch on 9 March, that all spheres of government contributed to the project, with a total investment of R162 million, of which SHRA contributed R52 m. The City of Cape Town invested R8.9 million and the National Housing Finance Cooperation invested the debt portion of just under R55 million.
“I need to emphasize that the grant accumulated R6.6 million of additional interest. The interest was re-invested back into the project to install fiber connectivity, which became essential as we entered into the pandemic. People were then able to work from home and children could attend online classes where necessary.”
Minister Sisulu said that the project provided not only a secure environment but represented a safe haven from where children could grow up. “SHRA is the backbone for government that enables the provision of affordable housing to our people and also provides an opportunity for us to build homes, support our people and provide them with the kind of accommodation that is secure.”
She added that construction remained pivotal to the growth of the South African economy, and reflecting on the importance of such a project, encouraged investment in social housing. “We want to sell the idea of investing in social housing. It’s an investment that can’t go wrong. There will always be people in need of accommodation, pay rent and continue to bear fruit into the future. In fact, I must congratulate the Western Cape, because we have our greatest number of social housing institutions in this province.”
Provincial Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers, added that creating affordable housing opportunities remained a priority for the Western Cape government. “This is more important now, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic had an adverse impact on the livelihoods of people and on the economy.”