The upgrading of the Citys rental stock in Kewtown, Athlone, is underway and the first families are scheduled to be relocated to their temporary homes on Monday 22 February, according to Councillor Shehaam Sims, the Mayoral Committee Member for Housing.
The City started planning the upgrades of its rental stock in 2008 and Kewtown was the first area to meet all the criteria for the upgrade. Funding, approved by the Provincial Government and provided by National Government according to the Community Residential Unit (CRU) Policy, is estimated at over a billion rand for the first phase alone. Phase one would see the upgrading of 11 areas over the next five years.
While the rental units in Kewtown are being upgraded, residents that are unable to move in with family or friends during the refurbishment will be accommodated in a Temporary Accommodation Village built specifically for this purpose. Every tenant's individual needs will be taken into account, particularly the disabled and the elderly.
According to Councillor Sims, residents have been involved in the planning process of the upgrade and relocation from the very start. The CRU Upgrade Programme provides for Ward Councillor representation through a Project Forum, the communities through Project Steering Committees and all tenants through Block Committees.
To decide upon the location of the Village, the various parties considered technical issues such as availability of services, central proximity to all blocks, possibility of hardening the surface as required, assign space requirements of the village and consideration to the site's invasiveness to normal community activities.
The Project Steering Committee, consisting of block representatives of all rental units, councillors and the Subcouncil, discussed the options and agreed to the location.
Individual block meetings were also held to discuss the proposed location with all tenants. The Project Steering Committee re-endorsed the positioning of the Village in the last meeting held on Wednesday 10 February and all parties agreed to the location of the Village.
The containers placed in the Village for use by the residents are 2,4 m by 12 m long, will have insulation, partitions, power, running water, ablution facilities as well as internal and external lighting. All these services have been installed prior to residents moving in. Additional storage space will also be provided. In other words, all normal services will be provided for. Refuse removal and postal services have been considered in the relocation planning.
The first eight converted containers out of a total of 16 have been delivered to the area already. "The village is enclosed by hoardings. The installation of services is underway and the rest of the site is being prepared for the other containers to be delivered between now and next week.
Sims said that security is also a key aspect. The City has arranged for additional patrols by Metro Police in the vicinity of the Village. The Community Policing Forum and the South African Police Service (SAPS) will be briefed and extra patrols will be requested for the area. "The tenants also need to take responsibility and phone the Metro Police and SAPS as soon as any incident occurs," she added.
While the City understands the inconvenience this relocation brings about, the units are in urgent need of upgrade and as such tenants will have to adapt to the situation. Tenants must be aware that the benefits of a newly upgraded unit far outweigh the temporary inconvenience of their relocation. All aspects of this project were subject to extensive planning involving Government representatives, relevant City Departments, external consultants, specialists as well as representatives from the community, to make the upgrading process as painless as possible for all involved."
NO. 119/ 2010
19 FEBRUARY 2010
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
COUNCILLOR SHEHAAM SIMS
MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR HOUSING
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
TEL: 021 400 1128 OR CELL: 073 115 4447