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The City of Cape Town has appointed a new contractor to complete the provision of new roads, sewer, water, and stormwater services for the Belhar-Pentech housing development which is to benefit 340 families. Read more below:

‘First of all, I want to apologise to the people from Belhar and surrounds about the delay in this project. We know that the beneficiaries have been waiting for their houses for a very long time already and that the need for housing in Cape Town is dire,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron.

The City of Cape Town terminated the previous contract in January 2016 due to poor performance. The new contractor – Shar Civils – was appointed in January this year and commenced with the on-site work on 21 February 2017.

‘We wanted to have the new contractor on site as soon as possible, but the appointment was delayed by an appeal which was dismissed only in December 2016. Still, I am very excited that the project has resumed and I want to assure the beneficiaries that we will pull out all the stops in ensuring that this time around the contractor performs as per their agreement with the City. On this note I want to mention that the key milestones for this project will be available on the City’s website within the next few days so that residents can see for themselves what must be delivered and by what time,’ said Councillor Herron.In terms of their contract with the City, Shar Civils must be done with the installation of sewer, water, and stormwater services, as well as the provision of the new road infrastructure by 29 September 2017.

‘We will hold them to this date. The City has, as part of our new Organisational Development and Transformation Plan, committed to speeding up the delivery of affordable housing opportunities across Cape Town. The Transport and Urban Development Authority was established on 1 January 2017 to deliver on this commitment, and as such I want to reiterate that TDA officials will keep a close eye on this project and the key milestones as we want to transform the lives of our beneficiaries and communities as soon as possible,’ said Councillor Herron.

The 340 subsidised houses – otherwise known as Breaking New Ground (BNG) housing units – will be constructed on a 6,7 ha site located on the corner of Edison Drive and Herschel Way in Belhar.

‘People from Belhar, Bellville South, Ravensmead and Elsies River who have been on the City’s housing database for many years will become homeowners as and when the first units become available. We foresee that the first beneficiaries will be able to move into their houses by mid-2018 and that all of the 340 houses will be completed by June 2019,’ said Councillor Herron.

The value of the new contract for the provision of new roads, sewer, water, and stormwater services for the housing development amounts to approximately R11,9 million.

The contractor is currently busy with the location and testing of the existing services installed by the previous contractor to ensure that these comply with the City’s standards. Earthworks for the construction of new roads has also commenced.

‘All in all, the City will spend about R55 million on the Belhar-Pentech development. The houses have been designed in such a way that beneficiaries will be able to extend their homes in future with an average of 120 m² of land being allocated to each family. Thus, with this project, the City is also empowering families to develop their properties incrementally to fit their future needs. We will also establish three open areas with gardens where children and residents can socialise,’ said Councillor Herron.

The development is in close proximity to minibus-taxi routes, train stations, social amenities and schools. Furthermore, residents will be able to access employment opportunities in the Bellville central business district which is about 8 km away, the Tygerberg area – 12 km, and the Cape Town CBD which is approximately 22 km from Belhar.

‘The construction of the top structures will commence within the next few months, as soon as the tender has been awarded. Finally, I am asking the residents from Belhar to also keep a close eye on the project and to monitor the progress at this site. We are facing a number of challenges in Cape Town, but we can overcome these and at a faster pace than before if we work together for the greater good,’ said Councillor Herron.

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