Mayor Patricia de Lille visited some of the 24 families who moved into their new homes at a housing development in Fisantekraal this past weekend.
They are among the more than 700 beneficiaries of the first phase of the Greenville Garden Cities development.
The City says it hopes to hand over the remaining 101 homes in the first phase by October. According to Ms De Lille, that’s also when the first beneficiaries of the project’s second phase will start moving in.
“The second phase will see about 500 homes being built for beneficiaries on the City’s housing waiting list,” she said.
The six-phase project, once complete, is expected to boast some 4 000 housing opportunities, either as social housing or finance-linked houses.
It also includes plans for schools, community facilities, public spaces and transport infrastructure. New homeowners Makanetso and Polao Rabohome said they had been living as backyarders since 2000 and were grateful they wouldn’t have to worry about a leaking roof and flooding this winter.
Ms De Lille also visited Xolani Nake at his home where he lives with his three children.
He has been staying in a nearby informal settlement for the past seven years and lived as a backyarder before then.
“He told me it was wonderful for him to move into his new home because he had been moving around a lot and it was good to finally settle down. I also met young Thobela Mekana who is disabled. “Both his parents passed away four years ago and his younger brother Athenkosi, 17, helps to look after him,” said Ms De Lille.
Mayoral committee member for transport and urban development Brett Herron accompanied Ms De Lillle. He said Greenville was an example of a integrated settlement with “a sense of neighbourhood”.
“The architecture is appealing and reminiscent of the Bo-Kaap. The street design and landscaping give a sense that this is a community and the incorporation of trading places, and even a dedicated building for an animal-welfare organisation, provide the components of a place that immediately feels like home.”