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Today I visited beneficiaries of the latest phase of our large-scale ceiling retrofit project in Heinz Park, Philippi.

The City of Cape Town is currently implementing Phase 2 of this massive redress project by installing ceilings and water-proofing in around 3 451 government-subsidised houses which were built between 1994 and 2005 without water-proofing and ceilings.

The City has now commenced the second phase where we are investing R60 million to install new ceilings and weather-proof roofs where deemed necessary in houses in Macassar, Chris Nissen, Gordon’s Bay, Heinz Park, Phumlani, Silver City and Sir Lowry’s Pass Village.

In 2014, I became aware of around 40 000 low-cost subsidy homes which were built without ceilings and water-proofing. As part of our commitment to redressing the wrongs of the past, we undertook this large-scale ceiling retrofit project.

The fact that the residents lived in these conditions for many years has caused residents much discomfort due to poor thermal performance and condensation, which gives rise to damp conditions and poor indoor air quality and can cause respiratory illnesses.To date, the City has invested R83 million during Phase 1 where around 4 550 ceilings were installed in various areas, such as Eureka Estate in Uitsig, Kalkfontein, Lwandle, Vrygrond, Broadlands and Wesbank. This redress project also includes fixing roof leaks and installing safer ceiling lighting.

Today I inspected the progress of the project in Heinz Park where teams are moving swiftly to redress this shortfall.

The City is spending R19 million on retrofitting 1 142 homes in Heinz Park.

Residents are already reaping the benefits and seeing major improvements in their quality of life and with their energy usage.

One resident, Rachel de Koker, said: ‘Before the ceilings were installed, my place looked very dull but it was also very cold and the roof would leak in winter. I would have to spend so much money on electricity for the heater to keep the place warm. I am very grateful to the mayor for bringing this project to our community to improve our homes because there has been a 100% change. It looks much better and I won’t be using that much electricity anymore for the heaters in winter.’

Another resident, Patricia Juries, said: ‘I am very grateful for this improvement because we had so many problems before. We noticed the change immediately because the house is much cooler and we all feel more comfortable. I am very happy about this because it a relief on our pockets.’

The ceiling retrofit project brings with it numerous benefits in terms of health, social, environmental aspects, quality of life, indoor and outdoor air quality, alleviation of energy costs, resource-efficiency, skills development and local employment.

This project is also one of our key climate change mitigation projects as residents now require less energy to heat their homes in winter or to keep cool during the warm summer months.

Residents will see significant savings on electricity consumption and costs, while this project also contributes to the City’s carbon emissions reduction.

For the first 8 001 homes which will be retrofitted with insulated ceilings, there will a reduction of approximately 5 600 tonnes of carbon per annum.

Residents in these 8 001 households will save a total of R5,8 million per year in electricity costs (based on 2015 electricity tariffs) because they will require less energy to keep their homes warm.

Construction of Phase 2 started this month and all houses will be completed by 30 June 2017 in the following areas:

Area Number of units Cost
Wesbank 750 R16,7 million
Chris Nissen Park, Gordons Bay and Macassar 260 R4,3 million
Phumlani Village 209 R3,4 million
Heinz park 1 142 R19 million
Silver City 363 R6 million
Sir Lowry’s Pass Village 640 R10 million

This is one project which I am extremely proud of, not only for its environmental and job creation benefits, but because we are finally reversing this wrong of the past and providing these residents with decent homes.

The City will continue this project by retrofitting the remainder of the 40 000 units in the coming financial years.

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