A Cape Town human settlements development is demonstrating how government working with the private sector can improve people’s lives and grow the country’s economy.
This was the position of Public Works and Infrastructure Minister, Patricia De Lille, during an oversight visit to a Maitland housing project in the city on Thursday.
She visited the project as part of her oversight tour of integrated infrastructure projects across the country.
The Maitland Metro Precinct development is being privately developed and rejuvenated by BlueBuck Projects into a thriving mixed-income, mixed-use precinct predominantly through the development of inclusionary and integrated housing opportunities.
This rejuvenation project intends to develop at least 1 200 residential opportunities in the centrally located node.
The Minister emphasised that infrastructure projects are critical to the country’s development and job creation. “While government has various infrastructure projects underway… the private sector is also constructing a number of important projects across the country,” she said.
Construction on the project began in November 2020 and the first phase of rental units were progressing well.
The site is about 7km from the Cape Town CBD and close to other economic hubs in the city. It is also serviced by a range of public transport modes.
The project is valued at around R1.2 billion and to date approximately R178 million has already been invested into the project.
The development includes nine new mixed-use projects. These will include at least 1 200 new residential units split between the open rental market, Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) buyers, and social housing renters; all targeting low to middle-income households. In addition, the intention is to create at least 5 000sqm of call centre space.
The units in the first project will be available for rental of between R5 000 and R7 500, and semi-furnished rooms in co-living apartments are available for R3 800.
Maitland Metro will provide housing opportunities for low to middle income households closer to working opportunities in Cape Town, and aims to be an example rejuvenation project that can be replicated in other urban suburbs.
“Hopefully this will encourage and expedite other human settlement developments. The rejuvenation and urban upgrades will have positive impacts on the surrounding suburbs and provide recreational opportunities for residents,” said BlueBuck Projects Chief Operating Officer Shaun Reznik.
De Lille said the project is “a prime example of how human settlements developments should be done in our democracy with affordable and well-located housing, close to work opportunities and transport”.
“By bringing people closer to transport and work opportunities we will achieve spatial justice and reverse the legacy of apartheid spatial planning. In doing so, we also lessen the travel time and costs for residents who will live in this development,” said the Minister.
Job creation and investment
To date, the project had created over 500 site jobs, with 40% of on-site workers being youth. In total 5 000 accumulative jobs are expected to be created during the various construction periods.
De Lille said the project demonstrated that efforts were underway by the private sector to rejuvenate the country’s economy, as envisioned by President Cyril Ramaphosa in the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP).
The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure said the Infrastructure South Africa (ISA) team has been engaging the developer on how it can assist with any blockages and unlocking additional investment.
ISA’s involvement down the line will assist in expediting the necessary approvals, working in close collaboration with the City of Cape Town.
“The ISA team will also assist the developer to unlock more funding for bulk and road infrastructure upgrades and de-risk certain projects which will be shared with investors and the market at the upcoming Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium in October 2020,” it said in the statement.
The Minister was joined on her oversight visit by Deputy Minister Noxolo Kiviet and head of Infrastructure South Africa Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa.
Source: South African Government News Agency