City struggles to secure tenants for Marabastad housing units

The Townlands social housing development in Marabastad, Pretoria: Jacques Naude/Independent Newspapers

The Townlands social housing development in Marabastad, Pretoria: Jacques Naude/Independent Newspapers

Published Nov 7, 2023



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The multimillion-rand social housing units in Marabastad built by the government are struggling to attract qualifying tenants from people in the low-income brackets for Phase 2 of the project.

This comes after the Housing Company Tshwane’s process of registering tenants in May this year failed to secure a sufficient number of eligible applicants, resulting in the City of Tshwane this week opening for another round of applications.

MMC for Human Settlements Ofentse Madzebatela said: “In May this year, Housing Company Tshwane, the City’s social housing entity, opened the Phase 2 application process. However, we did not receive enough qualifying applicants and have now reopened the application process.”

The development is envisaged to have at least 1 200 mixed housing units to accommodate people who fall between income brackets of between R11 301 and R22 000 per month.

More than 200 tenants have since moved into new residences as part of Phase 1 of the project.

Madzebatela said Phase 2 consists of two-bedroom units for applicants and that those eligible will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

“The units are for rental only and charges are calculated based on gross household income,” he said.

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, employed or self-employed and be able to pay monthly rent.

They must also produce proof that they are South African residents with a gross household income of between R11 301 and R22 000.

They must have clean credit records and not be under review, and be in possession of a certified copy of identity document, certified copy of partner’s identity document, if applicable, among other documents.

Applications must be submitted to the Housing Company Tshwane offices located at SKG Tower Building (Absa Building), 310 Pretorius Street, Pretoria CBD.

In April this year, the “Pretoria News” reported that the housing units were riddled with electrical faults and plumbing problems a year ago after some of them were completed.

New tenants complained that they were exposed to poor workmanship shown by faulty installations of electricity and plumbing.

Madzebatela, who at the time conducted an oversight visit, discovered the defects in the infrastructure, saying that the challenge was to “resolve the Housing Company Tshwane cash flow challenges that have affected the construction of the remaining phases”.

When it was first unveiled by former mayor Kgosientsho Ramokgopa in 2016 the government said the development would assist low-income earners to have homes closer to economic opportunities.

They would also have easier access to places of employment, transport routes, shopping malls and sports facilities.

Their proximity to workplaces, it was said, would reduce travel time for most workers, who spend 70% of their income on transport, according to a World Bank study.

The housing project was financed 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. There was also a capital expenditure grant from the City of Tshwane.

Initially, the development was envisaged to be completed in September 2019, but this deadline was missed.

Pretoria News