South Africa

GROUNDUP HOUSELESS

Woman waiting more than 30 years for housing subsidy hopes for home in Dunoon RDP project

Woman waiting more than 30 years for housing subsidy hopes for home in Dunoon RDP project
Dunoon resident Mavis Matomane hopes she will at last get a house through the Winning Way housing project. She moved to the area in 1990. (Photo: Peter Luhanga)

The Winning Way development near Milnerton, Cape Town aims to provide homes to 1,500 families.

At the outbreak of the pandemic, former Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu announced in April 2020 that 1,500 families living in overcrowded conditions in Dunoon and Kosovo informal settlements would be relocated in a bid to mitigate the spread of Covid.

After lengthy delays caused by court battles, work at the Winning Way housing project near Milnerton, Cape Town, is now making progress.

News of the bulk services work has given Dunoon residents hope. Some have been waiting since the dawn of democracy for houses.

Dunoon resident Mavis Matomane grew up before Table View was developed, living in the bushes along Janssens Avenue. She was relocated to Crossroads and later to Chuku Town, an area in Joe Slovo Park, Milnerton.

“I have been waiting for a housing subsidy since the time we [with other Dunoon residents] were staying in Marconi Beam, Chuku Town. I arrived in Chuku Town in 1990,” said Matomane.

She said while living at Chuku Town, the Blaauwberg municipality came to register people for a housing development in Dunoon. She said she went through the entire registration process but was passed by when Dunoon’s Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) houses were built.

“I am still angry. I am supposed to get a housing subsidy a long time ago. Younger people received their housing subsidy long ago,” she said.

Contractors are on site at the Winning Way housing project, Dunoon

Contractors are on site at the Winning Way housing project. The site has been cleared and now bulk infrastructure is being installed. (Photo: Peter Luhanga)

Minister Sisulu had said the 1,500 families would be relocated to Winning Way Industrial Park by July 2020. But the Racing Park Developers’ Association appealed to the City of Cape Town against the municipality’s rezoning of the land for mixed-use housing opportunities.

The Association lost the appeal, and then took the matter to the Western Cape high court, this time seeking to overturn the sale of a section of the industrial land to the Western Cape Human Settlements Department. It lost again.

The Western Cape Provincial Department of Human Settlements was then in a position to award a contract worth R800,000 to clear the site. The site clearance was completed earlier this year.

Muneera Allie, the deputy communications director for human settlements, said the project is being rolled out across five contracts, with the first issued for the site clearance.

Allie said the second contract, valued at R15-million, was for the installation of bulk internal civil engineering services, and said that the contractor has been on site since May.

Allie said that the installation of electrical engineering services would be tendered and work completed this year. Construction of the top structures would then commence in 2023. The fifth contract, for the “on-site package treatment plant” (a small-scale waste treatment facility), would also start later next year. A total of 2,963 RDP houses were constructed in Dunoon between 1998 and 2001. But there have been no new public housing projects built in the area since then. At the time of the last census in 2011, there were more than 30,000 people living in Dunoon, of which 55% were backyarders or living in informal settlements.

In February this year, spokesperson for the provincial human settlements department Nathan Adriaanse said the Winning Way housing project was earmarked for housing prior to the pandemic, and was not just launched to slow the spread of Covid. The project would improve the living conditions of residents living in inhumane conditions.

Allie said the Winning Way development will consist of 30-square-metre units in three and four-storey walk-up blocks. Units will have self-contained kitchens and ablution facilities, and shared drying yards outside. She said some ground floor units will be allocated for small commercial activities. DM

First published by GroundUp.

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Jill Tyson Tyson says:

    Sounds like practical housing plan for city dwellers. Free standing RDP houses are not right with land very scarce in well situated urban areas.

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