Marabastad flats for low-income earners
Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu said the multimillion rand project would give rise to at least 1200 housing units, which would make it “the biggest social housing project we have in the country”.
She made the remarks during her visit to the project on Friday to inspect whether construction had resumed since the beginning of level 3 of the Covid-19 lockdown.
“We represent the government through our social housing institution. We have 50% shares in this establishment,” she said.
It was previously said the cost of the project would be R366 million, but it emerged on Friday that it was in the region of R500m.
Its beneficiaries would be low-income earners, categorised into two groups; the first made up of those who take home between R2 500 and R3 500 a month.
The second category would be people who earn a monthly salary of between R3 500 and R7 500.
It was envisaged that upon its completion, the social rental stock complex would have an outdoor gym, braai places, vegetable gardens, a community hall, netball court and soccer field.
The project, which was started in 2016, was previously bedevilled by delays caused by contractual disputes between the City of Tshwane and the main contractor.
Sisulu expressed confidence that the building would be completed in March. “The occupation of the houses would be next year in March. We would use the appropriate time in March. On Sharpeville Day (now known as Human Rights Day, March 21) we will be here to say to our people that you may have suffered what you suffered but this government is intent on making the lives of our people better,” she said.
She also used the opportunity to speak about evictions in Tshwane during the lockdown. “There are a number of complaints about the fact that we are evicting people. But at the same time we would like to send a stern message to our people that they will not invade any land.”
Sisulu said her department had also received complaints from Tshwane residents that the metro had cut off their water and electricity supplies.
“In relation to cutting of water and electricity, there have been complaints that we received. We will have to sit down with the City (to talk about it) because of the people who are indigent because of the Covid-19 lockdown to provide them with the necessary water and electricity,” she said.
Tshwane head administrator Mpho Nawa said the City wanted to pull up similar projects across the municipality. “We want to spread social housing across the whole of the City. You would know that a lot of young people come to the capital city and the capital city must host them,” he said.
He said housing was a big problem in the country and that social housing would help to solve the problem.
The project was funded by the National Department of Human Settlements through its Social Housing Regulatory Authority, and the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements, through the Gauteng Partnership Fund. A capital expenditure grant came from the municipality.