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Work is underway to improve the external structural walls of 116 blocks of City of Cape Town rental stock in the Elsies River area and surrounds through waterproofing, painting and other structural stability interventions.

The blocks that are being upgraded are in the Adriaanse, Clarke Estate, Leonsdale, Belvienie, Nooitgedacht and Avon areas.

The project started in August 2016 and is earmarked for completion by the end of this year, if all goes according to plan.

Since the start, 44 blocks have been upgraded. Thus far, this project has enabled the creation of 90 local job opportunities and more are expected as the project is rolled out. The main thrust of the work being done is to improve the structural integrity of the external facades through waterproofing, painting and other structural stability interventions.This upgrade is being done under the Human Settlements Directorate’s new Asset Management Implementation Programme. Recently, the directorate concluded a comprehensive assessment of its 47 000 rental stock units.

‘The condition of our aging rental stock and the limited resources that we have at our disposal to do the maintenance work that is required, necessitated the development of an Asset Management Plan. It is in the final stages of completion. We are truly committed to improving the lives of our tenants through enhanced services but everyone has a role to play.

‘The assessment, which included looking at the condition of all city-wide Council-owned rental stock, has enabled us to draw up a priority ranking. The ranking is based on whether repairs and maintenance are of a critical nature, among which waterproofing and ensuring that walls are structurally safe.

‘It is key to note the current context in which we are operating. We have an inadequate budget to effect all of the major upgrades required for the stock on our books. It would amount to tens of billions of rand. Such a budget would not be possible. Added to the current situation, we have a low return on our rental income, which contribute to the maintenance needs of our units. For instance, our rental income could range between 8% in one area or 40% in another.

‘Ideally if we could receive a 100% rental income, we could do more maintenance. We, therefore, emphasise that our tenants also have a responsibility to play their part and to help us to help them by paying their rental monies,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Benedicta van Minnen.

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