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Note to editors: the following speech was delivered by City of Cape Town Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, at the key handover ceremony to beneficiaries of the Heideveld housing development today, 19 April 2016.

Mayoral Committee Members, councillors, Heideveld housing development beneficiaries, Heideveld housing development Project Steering Committee, City of Cape Town staff, members of the media, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

Good afternoon, goeie middag, molweni, as-salaam alaikum, shalom.

It is a privilege to be here and share in this moment with you today.

It has been a priority of this administration to provide for the housing needs of Cape Town’s steadily growing and increasingly urbanised population.We have built 31 741 housing opportunities since we came into government in 2011.

These opportunities have been all across the city in areas like Ocean View, Belhar, Hangberg, Pelican Park and Langa.

We are here today to start 30 new chapters in the lives of 30 new families.

And these are the first of the 738 families who are going to have their lives transformed through this R105 million development here in Heideveld.

Residents from often overcrowded conditions in Heideveld, Vanguard Estate, Welcome Estate, Bonteheuwel and Gugulethu are going to come together and have a place to call home here between today and June 2017 when the project is complete.

We will also be ensuring that, in the spirit of inclusivity, 37 of the houses will be allocated to beneficiaries with special needs like the physically disabled.

This project will come to be known as a milestone in our quest to build an inclusive city.

Each one of the beneficiaries present here today also has their own story of both hardship and perseverance.

Like Mr Solomons of Wesbank. He applied for a housing subsidy at the Communicare offices in Bishop Lavis. He became a construction worker and built some parts of our city.
He tells how the walls around the cemetery on Robert Sobukwe and the Stellenbosch Arterial are his handiwork. Today, at 71 years old, he becomes a homeowner for the first time. He says that his new home is where he is laying down his roots and the place which he wishes to be buried from.

Many of you have struggled really long and hard to get here to this moment today.

It’s not just a new house.

It’s a new chapter, with new memories to make.

It’s a whole new community.

You will need to work together in order to make this community everything that you have waited so long for and dreamed about.

I want to thank the Project Steering Committee for working together with us, being the voice of the community, and participating in the relevant processes including giving input on the design of the houses.

We worked together to carefully spend the R118 000 allocated as the subsidy per house.

One such aspect is the insulation, which has been installed above the ceiling to ensure that each house is cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

This reduces the use of warmers/heaters and air-conditioning or fans. It is saving on electricity and money spent on an expense which is new for new homeowners. As a green initiative, it also reduces the collective carbon footprint.

This development is also the handiwork of the community, since the contractor employed some local labour from the jobseeker database.

This injects growth into the local economy.

Today, the beneficiaries are being given something that so many take for granted: an address.

There is no greater sense of belonging than an address to your own home.

I would like to encourage residents to embrace this belonging and to protect it.

Do not let others ruin the work of so many hands.

You will need to work together in order to make this community everything that you have waited so long for and dreamed about.

Don’t just walk by when you see someone use this opportunity to start a shebeen.

Don’t turn the other way when you see that what was meant to be a family home becomes a tik house.

Do not let negative elements and criminals take this fresh start from you.

You must report illegal activity to the police.

We will do all we can to root criminals out of our communities.

Given the chance, we will continue to make every effort to ensure that more housing opportunities are made available.

We will work even harder to ensure that these opportunities are allocated to beneficiaries in a fair and systematic manner.

Thank you.

God bless.

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