Hundreds of mense waiting for homes are one step closer to their dream, after a new housing project was launched in Belhar.
On Friday, Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu, along with the Provincial MEC for Human Settlements, Bonginkosi Madikizela, welcomed residents to their new homes at the launch of the Belhar Gardens Rental Estate.
The housing project backed by the City of Cape Town, Nedbank and the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) is valued at R1.3 billion.
Upon completion, the project will provide 629 rental accommodation units for two target groups.
A total of 192 units will be allocated to primary beneficiaries earning less than R3500 per month, and 437 units will be allocated to secondary beneficiaries earning less than R7500 per month.
The project provides three types of accommodation.
Bachelor flats can be rented for as little as R750 a month; one-bedroom flats for R1650 and two-bedroom units can be rented for R2150 a month.
The project is a mix-use, high density residential project which will have two managers on site at all times, a permanent security detail and fingerprint access to the gated complex.
So far 152 units have been completed as part of the first phase, with phase two expected to be rolled out by August.
Present at the launch was Belhar (Ward 12) Councillor Willie Japhta, who said it was a proud moment for the people of Belhar.
The housing launch comes just weeks after Belhar residents protested about a failed housing project which Mayor Patricia de Lille had vowed would provide hundreds of homes.
The mayor launched the 340-house, Belhar-Pentech project in February 2015, but to date no homes have been built.
The City has blamed a contractor for the delay.
At Friday’s handover, among the happy recipients was Joy Japtha, 44, who never lived under a roof she could call her own after she was orphaned as a child.
“I have always been an orphan and started working for the same orphanage where I stayed as a child,” she explains.
“I heard about the housing development and went to their workshops and later found out I qualified for a bachelor house. It was a dream come true.
“It feels good to have my own home and I am very happy,” Joy says with a broad smile.
Friday was also a day to remember for Bellville-South couple Eugene and Eunice Arendse, both 74.
Clutching Eunice’s hand tightly, Eugene says: “This place is so nice and above all it is safe.”
“We are happy and protected. I could not ask for more.”