There was feeling of relief and happiness when Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille handed over 26 units of a multi-million rand low cost housing development at Hangberg in Hout Bay on Tuesday. The project is part of 71 unit sea view development which will be completed in April next year.
26 families will take occupation of completed residential units. Some of these families have been on a waiting list for decades to receive proper housing from the Western Cape government. Mayor Patricia De Lille says in 2011 the city committed to complete the Sea Views development in Hangberg as part of the city’s integrated development plan.
Hangberg was rocked by violence between residents and law enforcement officials in September 2011 after authorities dismantled illegal structures built on the fire break. The two day violence ignited a furore around the issue of housing and service delivery, in a community many felt had been forgotten by the government.
Following this, the City, Western Cape Government and the community came together to sign the Hangberg Peace Accord in 2011 and established the Peace and Mediation Forum as the elected and mandated community representatives. This agreement paved the way for the housing project.
“It took us four long years to build the trust between the community, the city government and the provincial government and the result today’s shows that by working together we can make progress,” Mayor De Lille explained.
“The project is named Sea View and it is so close to the sea because this is their (the community’s) lives, it is a fishing community. They live off the sea to keep them in the area in which they were born and grew up is appreciated by the community.”
All the residents that received houses today were ecstatic as now they have a clean space which they can call home. One resident, Theresa Thomas said that she had previously been living in a small flat with all of her sons and today she has been given her own space.
“I haven’t got many words to say, but this is exciting and I am so happy right now,” Thomas said.
Haneefa Lee from the peace and mediation forum in Hout Bay said that they have been engaging with the city and the community for the past few years and she is so happy to see that finally this project has been successful.
“I am here today to see the smiles on the resident’s faces, we have been working hard for many years so it brings me great joy to see this,” Lee added.
The project will be completed in April where more residents on the waiting list will be able to move into their new homes. VOC (Umarah Hartley)