July 15 - The City of Cape Town's transport and urban development authority has started construction of 340 Breaking New Ground (BNG) housing units at a site on the corner of Edison Drive and Herschel Way in Belhar. Mayoral committee member for transport and urban development Brett Herron and several other councillors visited the site on Friday and assisted in the build in as part of their 67-minute Mandela Day initiative to commemorate former president Nelson Mandela's centenary birthday celebrations. Photo: Supplied (CoCT)

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town's transport and urban development authority has started construction of 340 Breaking New Ground (BNG) housing units at a site on the corner of Edison Drive and Herschel Way in Belhar, the city said on Sunday.

The Belhar-Pentech BNG housing project was valued at R57 million, excluding VAT, and would take about 24-months to complete, the city said in a statement.

Mayoral committee member for transport and urban development Brett Herron and several other councillors visited the site on Friday and assisted in the build in as part of their 67-minute Mandela Day initiative to commemorate former president Nelson Mandela's centenary birthday celebrations.

"When tata became the president of South Africa he promised that more than a million houses would be built for the poorer people of our country. South Africa is currently facing a massive housing backlog and the 340 units is a tip on the iceberg. However, these housing units together with the many others planned throughout the city will see us working towards tata’s dream of South Africans living in decent housing, one house at a time," Herron said.

The project entailed building semi-detached and free-standing single storey houses, as well as the installation of electrical infrastructure, street lighting, and pavements.

"Today we are honouring one of Africa’s greatest leaders who put serving others above himself. Tata was very determined to fight for the dignity of our people. This is one way we as the city honour his legacy: by restoring dignity to the people of Cape Town, some of whom have been dreaming of becoming homeowners for most of their lives. This is also one of the ways we are living up to one of our strategic pillars of being an inclusive city," Herron said.

The development was located in close proximity to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, a number of primary and secondary schools, and a railway station. There were also open spaces that would be landscaped to create spaces where children could play and residents could socialise, the statement said.

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African News Agency (ANA)