GEORGE NEWS - The Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers, officially launched the Metro Ground housing project on Saturday 13 July.
The R30,8-million project is expected to be finished by June 2020 and will have over 600 beneficiaries.
Construction of the project is currently taking place along the PW Botha Boulevard near George Industria. The beneficiaries of the project will be people from Lawaaikamp (20), Parkdene (70), Protea Park (30), Rosemoor (60), Borcherds (80) and Conville (7).
At the launch Simmers said people with disabilities, the elderly and single headed households will be prioritised. "We will also prioritise backyard dwellers and those who have been on the waiting list for a very long time," he said.
This occasion was only one of many housing matters he has seen to in his first month in office. In a statement released last week he said since he was appointed as minister, he has travelled the length and breadth of the province visiting places like Swartland, Saldanha Bay, Breede Valley, Drakenstein, George, Knysna, Bitou, Theewaterskloof, Cape Aghulas and Swellendam.
"In fact, during this short time, I've covered over 8 000 kilometres, visiting various Human Settlements project sites and engaging with a vast cross-section of stakeholders during this period. Our Human Settlements Projects across the province are making exceptional progress and the contractors and officials, both at provincial and municipal level, must be commended for all their efforts," reads the statement.
"This is not only demonstrated through my engagements with stakeholders or the site visits, but more so through the housing handovers which we've already conducted. In June alone, we had two handovers in the space of a week in Forest Village, where a total of 67 people received their homes. It is vital to note that more than 1 700 people exclusively from the local community will be benefiting from this project upon completion."
He will return to these areas to further engage with the various stakeholders. "We are the Western Cape Provincial Government, which means we cover the entire region and not just pockets or parts of the province. To this end, the roll-out of the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) and the Small-Town Regeneration Programme (STRP) will continue to be a focus area of mine."
The minster further stated that he is in a process of engaging the provincial Minister of Transport and Public Works, Bonginkosi Madikizela, about releasing well-located provincially owned buildings and tracts of land for human settlement developments. "In due course, I will make further announcements about these engagements. I can add that thus far, it's been fruitful as we have the same vision to ensure that Western Cape residents have access to housing opportunities," said Simmers.
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