President Zuma opens N2 Gateway project

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma says government’s efforts to restore the dignity of the residents of Langa through the roll-out of integrated human settlements have paid off.

The President officially opened the N2 Gateway project in the Cape Town informal settlement on Thursday.

The N2 Gateway Integrated Human Settlements Development is a national priority project designed to address poverty, destitution and homelessness through the elimination of informal settlements.

The President said prior to the launch of the project, there was no adequate housing in the area and residents 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 … we realised that in order to 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 President said government wanted to ensure that the project not only created houses, but was part of an overall strategy to provide facilities such as schools and clinics, correct apartheid spatial planning and bringing people closer to their workplaces.

To date, the project has delivered over 14 000 houses. The Department of Human Settlements will complete a further 8 000 units by 2019.

The main aim of the project, which was launched in 18 August 2004 as a pilot project by the Department of Human Settlements, was to provide low-cost human settlements that would restore the dignity of locals.

The President unveiled a plaque at one of the construction sites to commemorate the official opening of the project, before he put on a protective jacket and hard hat and laid bricks at one of the units that were still being built.

He was accompanied by Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and Human Settlements Deputy Minister Zou Kota-Fredericks.

The President then proceeded to hand over houses to several beneficiaries before addressing members of the community during an imbizo. 

Similar projects being rolled out nationally

The President said the project had provided an opportunity to build integrated and sustainable communities not only here, but in almost every part of the country.

Government is also building integrated informal settlements in Ethekwini in KwaZulu-Natal, the Nelson Mandela Metro in the Eastern Cape and in Lerato Park in Kimberly in the Northern Cape, to name but a few.

“We have also made tremendous strides with regards to human settlements in the mining towns, thanks to the partnership and support of the mining companies,” he said.

The President said the N2 Gateway project, along with others around the country, would go a long way in putting a dent on the country’s housing backlog.

“The Department of Human Settlements has made a commitment that the remaining [8000] housing units will be completed before 2019.”

He said government would also ensure that it speeds up the process of building sustainable human settlements because Cape Town, in particular, was still faced with a challenge of informal settlements.

Projects like the N2 Gateway had a positive impact on the lives of many people as it has been seen in areas like Langa, Delft and Gugulethu townships, the President said. –

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