Sarah Baartman District housing projects shine at Govan Mbeki Awards

MAY 21, 2015

Two Sarah Baartman District housing delivery projects were recognised among the province’s best by the Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Human Settlements for the 2014/15 financial year at the 6th Provincial annual Govan Mbeki awards held in Mthatha on 30 April 2015.

While the Kroonvale 455 housing project in Graaff-Reinet, in the Camdeboo Local Municipality, came second in the Best Informal Settlement Upgraded category, the Mayfield 1000 housing project in Grahamstown’s Extension 10, in the Makana Local Municipality, won first position in the Best Integrated Residential Development Programme .

The awards, which were presented by Human Settlements Deputy Minister, Zoe Kota-Fredericks, and the Eastern Cape MEC for Human Settlements, Helen Sauls-August, recognise projects that are on par with the standard set by the department in providing good quality homes to the communities of the Eastern Cape.

They were named after Govan Mbeki in 2006 based on the role he played in Human Settlements of partnering with key stake holders in order to further the cause of building the nation free of inequity.

“We have moved away from chasing numbers since ‘Breaking New Ground’, we are about good quality,” said Deputy Minister Kota at the event.

She added that government is now making sure that it gets value for money.

All the provincial winners will get the opportunity to compete on a national level – which is meant to create healthy competition amongst Provinces in their quest to improve the quality of lives for millions of South Africans as well as a monitoring tool to ensure delivery.

She also said it would be great if Alternative Building Technology (ABT) projects can compete in next year’s awards.

MEC Sauls-August congratulated all the winners and called for the stop of corruption in the allocation of houses.

She urged all those involved to make sure people are housed and that there is security and comfort.

"Many a times we are known for some of the challenges that face us, be it water challenges the infrastructure that is ageing.

“I think this time around we are proud to be here in front of you talking about Mayfield phase one and two, which was initially approved by the province," Makana Local Municipality Mayor, Zamuxolo Peter, told a media briefing following the awards.

He said that the municipality, while “a bit handicapped” was looking to extend the housing project.

"We are working on that to make sure that we upgrade [another area], possibly Belmont Valley, so as to accommodate the other 1 200 houses that we want to build as part of our phase two," he said.

"After all the challenges this municipality has been through, we regard the award as an indication that not all is so bad as perceived by the media and other sources.

"We are very proud that the province has chosen Makana Municipality on this category, but we have to prove this nationally.”

Image: Housing delivery in Grahamstown's Mayfield. Image: Grocott's Mail.