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R320m allocated to revive hostels across Cape Town

The City of Cape Town's Human Settlements directorate has announced a R320 million hostel transformation project. Picture: City of Cape Town/Supplied

The City of Cape Town's Human Settlements directorate has announced a R320 million hostel transformation project. Picture: City of Cape Town/Supplied

Published Feb 24, 2020

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town's Human Settlements directorate has announced a R320 million hostel transformation project which will see the city’s hostels undergo extensive renovations.

Mayco member for human settlements Malusi Booi said: “We have taken this to a whole new level at council. We approved a panel of four consultants to do a total overall of all those hostels in some areas, which will see some being demolished and rebuilt - similar to what we’re doing in Langa.

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“We have a budget of R320m that we are investing in this project. Most of these hostels you will find have four families living in one unit, so we will be reconstructing them.”

Booi said the focus had especially been on Langa so far. As one of the city’s oldest suburbs, it was home to some of Cape Town’s worst-affected hostels. However, the City was looking at the situation holistically and inclusively.

Cape Town has approximately 11000 hostel bed spaces within Gugulethu, Langa and Nyanga. On the periphery of the city the number of spaces makes it one of the biggest landlords in the country.

“This project will take us less than 10 years, hence the fact that we have appointed the consultants to do a feasibility study to do an assessment on the conditions of the hostels so that they can come with new designs and change the outlook of the areas. We have appointed them for a period of five years.”

Under apartheid, the hostels in Langa and other areas in Cape Town and South Africa were built for African men brought to the city to work as labourers.

During this period, it was a prerequisite of employment for companies to provide hostel accommodation for their labourers.

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“On the city-wide front we have allocated R100m for the other hostels for maintenance and to rehabilitate them.

“We face many challenges with these hostels, such as the conditions as well as the sewage problems and overcrowding in these units,” Booi said.

@MarvinCharles17

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City of Cape Town

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