New model houses for Kleinmond

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pretoria - Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor has handed over 410 specially designed housing units to the Kleinmond community in Cape Town.

The houses - built on a new model with durable materials and efficient energy usage - were part of the Kleinmond Housing Project and one of the first projects to reintroduce modular masonry to South African low-cost housing.

The Kleinmond low-cost housing project was conceptualised in 2007 as a collaborative initiative between the Department of Science and Technology, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Western Cape Provincial Department of Human Settlements and the Overstrand Local Municipality.

The new technologies developed by the CSIR include a modular and expandable design of the house itself, reinforced ring beams, prefabricated plumbing, zero-waste construction methods and insulated ceiling boards.

The houses also have alternative water and energy saving options such as rainwater harvesting, solar water heating and photovoltaic panels which were all carefully considered to assist the municipality in achieving its goal to conserve scarce resources.

Internal and external painting and tiling in showers were specifically managed to enhance hygiene awareness and improve cleanliness while maintaining the aesthetic appeal of the houses and the settlement in its entirety.

The municipality has used various sources of funding for the Kleinmond project, ranging from housing-subsidy funding, a municipal infrastructure grant, funding from the then Department of Minerals and Energy and the Department of Science and Technology's funding amounted to R18.5 million, which translates to about R35 800 for each unit house.

The project has now been completed, except for the evaluation of the performance of the technologies and the writing of the best practices report expected to be completed after a 12-month monitoring period that will start from the day the houses will be transferred to the beneficiaries for occupation.

The CSIR report is due in September 2012.

Handing over the keys to community members on Tuesday, Pandor congratulated the new home owners noting that the project was for the people helped by the best science available in South Africa.

"This project has attracted interest from near and far, because these houses are built on a new model, with durable materials and they conserve energy," said Pandor.

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