Cape Town - Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has launched a R55 million social housing project.

The Bothasig Gardens Social Housing project in Milnerton, which is being integrated with an existing seniors’ complex called Kent Durr, will provide 120 social rental housing opportunities for families earning between R2 200 and R7 500 a month.

Sexwale said one of their critical missions was to bring people together where there had been dehumanisation.

“It’s a good day for people who will move into houses. A house is the biggest investment anyone will have,” Sexwale said.

“This is rectification of what apartheid [did], which was to keep people of the country separate according to skin colour and hair textures.”

The project is a public and private partnership between the Western Cape Human Settlements Department, the City of Cape Town, the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA), Communicare and the Dutch International Guarantees for Housing.

Sexwale said there were always complaints about the quality of structures.

“We bring the best developers and enhance properties in the areas. It’s about integration of people… things have to be affordable too,” he said.

Sexwale also spoke about houses that had been destroyed in Lenasia, Joburg, after they were illegally sold and built on government land.

“Innocent people who were duped by people who sold land illegally should not suffer. The syndicate who was stealing land ... we were able to arrest some of their members.

“And we have a message to send, people who were let down by these syndicates… point them out.”

Sexwale said the problem was first detected in 2000. Asked why it had taken him so long to comment on the matter, he said that ministers did not just jump in when something happened.

“We need to be properly informed.”

Brian Moholo, chief executive of the SHRA, said the development launched on Tuesday met the expectations of social housing.

“This is realising the vision of… a safe environment and in walking distance to shops. There are courtyards for children to play.

“Social housing is all about living space and not only about a block of flats,” Moholo said.

Adele Jobe, 44, who has lived in a granny flat most of her life, was emotional about her move: “This is my first home and first Christmas in my house. I’m so happy,” she said tearfully.

Cape Argus