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The following speech was delivered by City of Cape Town Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, at a sod-turning event in Morningstar, Durbanville where the City will be building 166 units to house more than 650 beneficiaries.

Mayoral Committee Member: Transport and Urban Development Authority, Councillor Brett Herron; members of the Morningstar Project Steering Committee; City councillors; officials and contractors; distinguished guests; members of the media; ladies and gentlemen.

Good morning, goeie môre, molweni, as-salaamu alaikum, shalom.

I am very excited to be here with you today as we turn the first sod for the Morningstar Housing Development.

One of the main priorities that I identified for the next five years is to address the legacy of apartheid spatial planning.

It is very clear that many people remain in the areas where they were dumped during the apartheid era.

Most of these areas are far removed from proper transport infrastructure.They were also intentionally placed far away from areas of economic opportunity, where residents could find jobs.

We had elections only six months ago. When we campaigned, we made a promise that we would build a city that is more integrated and that development would take place close to transport corridors.

We said that we want people to live closer to economic opportunities.

We also said it is an indictment that the poor are spending 40% of their income on getting to work and accessing economic opportunities every day.

As such, our new Organisational Development and Transformation Plan prioritises transit-oriented urban growth and development.

The Morningstar Housing Development is proof that our words were more than just lip service.

We are taking the necessary steps to the re-envision and re-create our city.

The units that we will be building here are all situated on this great transport arterial, Langeberg Road.

This area is only 2 km from the Durbanville CBD and only 10 km from Cape Town’s second biggest CBD, Bellville.

The development is in close proximity to the major activity routes and it is close to the Durbanville taxi rank.

We will also be building a brand new taxi- and bus-embayment for the residents who will stay here.

As an inclusive city, we are going to make sure that the people of Morningstar feel connected and part of the rest of the city.

The City is spending R34,1 million on this development which spans over 1,6 hectares of land.

We will be building 166 Breaking New Ground homes to the benefit of about 664 people.

We know that the houses are going to those who need them most.

These are government-subsidised houses, so the beneficiaries are residents who earn less than R3 500 per month.

The allocation list has been finalised and I want to thank the Project Steering Committee present here with us today for their leadership in this regard.

You were entrusted with the faith of the beneficiaries and you have succeeded in your mandate thus far.

Should the road become rocky ahead, I ask you to remember this milestone so that it can motivate you once more.

I want to wish the contractors and project managers well as they embark on this project.

You are always behind the scenes but we appreciate the work that you do.

Please remember that you carry the hopes of many community members on your shoulders.

This should motivate you to keep to the timelines which you have set.

We all need to keep working together because the beneficiaries have waited long enough to have their own homes.

I look forward to us all getting together again in March next year to welcome them home.

I thank you. God bless.

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