Johannesburg - Nissan South Africa, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity South Africa and the City of Tshwane municipality, has unveiled its R20 million housing project in Ga-Rankuwa, north-west of Pretoria.
The greenfields project is in a new area consisting of 1 200 stands provided by the City of Tshwane and will result in the construction of a total of 200 houses, with 50 of them being completed before the end of this year.
Habitat for Humanity engineers will oversee construction of the houses, which will be undertaken by local companies in the area, using alternative building technologies. It is estimated that each 40m² house will cost about R108 000 to build.
But Mike Whitfield, Nissan’s local managing director, said yesterday there was a need to create jobs to create sustainability for the people who occupied the houses.
Whitfield said Nissan’s involvement in the project went beyond just assisting with the building of houses, and it would be assisting to set up small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) to supply Nissan and other businesses in the area.
He added that Nissan was already involved in an initiative to train artisans and was working with the government to establish SMME incubators.
“It’s part of our strategy to create these incubator businesses to be suppliers to us [Nissan],” he said.
Nissan will provide funding of R5.6 million for the first phase of the project, comprising the first 50 houses, with its global parent company providing more than $800 000 (about R8m) for the construction of the remaining 150 houses in the second phase.
Additional sites in the area have been provided by the City of Tshwane for the provision of schools, community facilities and parks, which will be provided by the municipality.
Joshua Ngonyama, the member of the mayoral committee for housing and human settlement, said the city, together with Gauteng province, had spent R100m in this area, with R60m going towards bulk infrastructure and roads.
Bonginkosi Dlalisa, the board chairman of Habitat for Humanity, said its international partnership with Nissan globally began in 2006 and was now entering its seventh year, with contribution funding being received for various Habitat projects across the Americas, Asia and the Pacific regions totalling $7.8m and now also encompassing South Africa.
Dlalisa said Habitat’s role as a partner in the Ga-Rankuwa flagship project was through the provision of quality housing and to bring about a sustainable change in the lives of new homeowners by inculcating a sense of citizenship, ownership and cohesion in the community.
Charmaine Lemao, the human resources director at Nissan SA, said the initiative was a perfect fit with Nissan’s corporate social responsibility philanthropy programme. Corporate social responsibility was one of the pillars of Nissan’s “Blue Citizenship” strategy, which was centred on mobility, community and sustainability.
Lemao said that to fast-track the project, the City of Tshwane had accelerated infrastructure support and exempted Nissan from building control registration fees.
“This had the direct result that we and the community are getting more for our rand, which in turn means more beneficiaries will receive their own houses,” she said.
Lemao said 200 people from the City of Tshwane’s indigent register were identified to benefit as pioneers of this new Ga-Rankuwa township.
To qualify as beneficiaries, applicants had to be South African citizens who had never previously owned houses and whose total household income was R3 500 a month or less. - Business Report