Cape Town - After a long wait for proper shelter, several local residents of Lambert’s Bay finally received an early Christmas gift when they were handed keys to their new homes.
The handover forms part of phase 2 of this Integrated Residential Development Programme (IRDP) after 184 houses were provided during phase 1. Phase 2 is set to deliver 86 housing opportunities. Although 100 units were planned for the 2021/22 financial year, the Cederberg Municipality requested that this number be reduced due to limited bulk capacity in the area.
This project caters for the elderly, people living with medically certified disabilities, those who have been on the Housing Demand Database (HDD) for 15 years and longer, back-yard dwellers and military veterans who reside in Lambert’s Bay.
Local resident Maria Magdelena Swartz, 77, who’s been on the waiting list for 19 years, could not hold back the tears of joy.
“I would like to thank the Lord for having spared my life so that I may see a lifelong dream come true. Further to this, I want to thank MEC Simmers as well as our local municipality for keeping their promise to deliver houses in Lambert’s Bay.”
According to the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements (WCDoHS), the multi-year project commenced in 2016 and is scheduled for completion in 2022.
The balance of 41 houses will be handed over before the end of the 2021/22 financial year.
MEC for Human Settlements Tertuis Simmers said: “Sharing in the joy of our beneficiaries will always be priceless, as the change that is occurring cannot be measured. It is fitting that this handover occurs a few days before Reconciliation Day, as our goal is to reconcile our citizens with their dignity, with feeling safer, and ensuring they live in improved conditions.
‘’We’re delivering a tangible and lifelong change. In addition, these residents and their loved ones can now enjoy Christmas in a new home and like never before,’’ he said.
Another housing beneficiary was 55-year-old Jeffrey Shalterscap, who waited for more than 20 years for an RDP house.
‘’I am very impressed and I feel overwhelmed about the Western Cape government who understood the housing need in Lambert’s Bay. I have been part of the housing committee for years as a community liaison officer and it was always embarrassing to give people beneficiary letters while I myself didn't receive it. But God answered my concerns and made me change my heart and hope for my day to come. Today indeed it has arrived. I am very happy for this house and I thank the Western Cape Housing Department,’’ he said.
According to WCDoHS, they have a number of projects across the province which are either in planning or construction phases.
‘’In phase one, we have handed over 362 sites and 184 top structures. In phase two we are delivering 84 units. The first 45 units of the 84 were handed over,’’ said Simmers.
“As the Western Cape government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe and sustainable human settlements in an open-opportunity society,’’ Simmers added.