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The City of Cape Town is pleased to announce that community consultations for the upgrade of the Agste Laan informal settlement have been concluded and that the contractors have begun their site preparations. The R50,8 million upgrade to transform the lives of these residents will go a long way towards creating a sense of place in the community, with its formalised layout and community-friendly design. Read more below:

If construction is able to proceed as planned, the site should be completed by the end of 2018. Constant cooperation from the beneficiaries will be of paramount importance.

The formalised layout will allow the City to provide an enhanced level of basic services. Each of the 580 residential plots will have access to its own toilet and metered water and electricity connections. The redesign will also allow for the provision of public lighting. This could not be done previously due to the density of the structures.

As part of the upgrade, formal erven will be created, which can be transferred with title deeds to qualifying beneficiaries. The progressive realisation of tenure is one of the key thrusts of the City’s new Organisational Development and Transformation Plan. This enhanced service delivery plan is about finding ways of igniting hope by enabling opportunities and services in a more localised, area-based manner.Those who do not qualify i.e. those with other properties registered in their name, those who have previously been allocated a housing opportunity, and foreign nationals, will not get ownership but will be issued a certificate of tenure.

A series of meetings with the community was held to inform the design, as well as to explain what the process of upgrading the settlement entails.

Residents also took the opportunity to highlight their preference for space to be set aside for places of worship and early childhood development centers, and as such this was included in the project specifications. In addition to the design inputs, residents will be able to exercise their influence by choosing a street naming theme.

‘Given the crippling land shortage in the City, these informal settlement upgrades will become more and more integral to ensuring that residents receive higher levels of service. We urge communities, residents, and organisations to work with us in the same way that the community of Agste Laan has done so that together we can find and implement workable and sustainable solutions for the urban realities that we, as a metro and as a country, face,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

‘The density of informal settlements often jeopardises provision of basic and emergency services. In addition, designs such as this can also improve safety in the community. The creation of roads concentrates the movement of pedestrians and as such limits the opportunities for criminals to strike. Furthermore, the creation of public open spaces, especially where the community takes ownership of the spaces, provides the opportunity for children to have safer spaces to play,’ added the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Area Central, Councillor Siyabulela Mamkeli.

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