Maintain govt houses, says Sexwale

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cape Town - Beneficiaries of government housing should do their utmost to keep these properties in good condition, said Housing Minister Tokyo Sexwale on Thursday.

Sexwale was speaking at a hand-over ceremony of 219 housing units in Brooklyn, Cape Town. 

The Drommedaris Social Housing Project in Brooklyn is a partnership between the public and private sector. It's one of 8 000 such partnerships making inroads in the housing backlog around the country.

Under the project, beneficiaries earning between R3 500 and R7 500 a month, get an opportunity to rent units from about R750 a month to R2 300, depending on the tenant's earnings and the size and finishes of the unit. 

"We want to revitalise and transform our inner cities by creating housing opportunities and giving a chance to people who could otherwise be overlooked by banks for mortgage bonds, while not qualifying for the subsidised houses," said Sexwale.

The handing over function was also attended by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, Housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela and Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, among others.

Located along the busy Koeberg Road, the project was designed to take advantage of the Bus Rapid Transport routes and the closely situated amenities such as shops and clinics.

Sexwale urged the beneficiaries to maintain their new and quality homes and to pay their rent on time to enable government to build more homes for those in need, adding that his department was hard at work trying to eradicate the 2 700 informal settlements scattered across the country.

The minister said a time would come when government would stop building free houses, a point echoed by Zille in her address.

Mahlangu-Nkabinde said the time had come for different government departments work closely to achieve common goals. 

She emphasised that available resources and land in the country should be used to benefit South Africans.

One of the beneficiaries, Craig Davids, is a father of two and used to rent a room in Kensington. 

"I'm very happy," he said of his low rental two-bedroom flat.

Another beneficiary Shamso Nor, a mother of four children, who used to stay in Salt River, echoed Davids's sentiments.