Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille turned the sod at a housing project that would house over 500 families in Manenberg on Wednesday.
The R123 million housing development project, situated in The Downs development in Manenberg would be able to house 587 families and it is part of the City of Cape Town’s Integrated Development Plan.
Speaking at the event, which took place on Wednesday morning, de Lille said: “Housing opportunities will be provided for residents from Manenberg, Surrey Estate, Tambo Square, Sherwood Park and Gugulethu.” She recalled how the City, in 2011, had “immediately identified Manenberg as an area in desperate need of urban upgrading and in need of regeneration”.
The housing project came about as the City’s commitment to redressing social issues within the city’s communities. De Lille said the City had spent over R200 million to upgrade the council’s community residential units in the area. She noted that additional resources amounting to R40 million had to be spent “to pay for additional costs incurred due to the delays caused by gangsterism and crime”.
De Lille acknowledged that the City was guided by a pledge to do all that they could within their mandate to overcome the “many generations of spatial and economic exclusion” suffered by people who were forced to make Manenberg their home.
Interventions the city has poured energy into the area included a R5,5 million synthetic pitch for a world-class sports facility and the building of the Manenberg Youth Lifestyle Campus which was part of a R29 million investment in the area for the next three years.
“We are busy transforming Manenberg into the town we all know it can become,” de Lille said.
“We believe that if the youth are given opportunities, they will not be tempted by the lure of gangsterism and drugs which has torn this community apart for too long.”
De Lille said the City had budgeted R8,2 million for social crime prevention and safety projects in Manenberg.
“As the government, our job is to balance doing what we can to right the wrongs of the past, while also managing the current and future growth of our city.”