Housing plan takes shape

Housing developments are set to take place along Lincoln Street and Central Avenue in August.

An environmental impact assessment scoping report on the next phase of a housing development in Kraaifontein is available at the Eikendal library until Friday July 20 for the public to comment on.

The Maroela North development is planned for the northern precinct of Kraaifontein, on Old Paarl Road, east of Maroela Road behind Bloekombos High School.

Meanwhile, the R55.5 million first phase of the development, the 570-unit Maroela South project in Kraaifontein east, which is benefiting low-income households from Wallacedene and Bloekombos, starts in August, in Central Avenue and Lincoln Street near Klein Begin and Wallacedene sports field, according to Ward 111 councillor Brenda Hansen. This vacant land was once a race track known as the Tygerberg Raceway (“Track drives residents round the bend,” Northern News, April 26, 2017.)

The Maroela North project includes longer-term plans for a railway station and clinic in the northern precinct on Old Paarl Road, but this project is still in the planning phase and a biodiversity investigation on whether the three hectares of rare fynbos and seven hectares of wetlands will be moved or restored and taken to another area is being considered.

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, said the Maroela South beneficiaries would be selected from the City’s housing database and come from wards 111 and 101 and a smaller portion of Ward 6, which was formerly formed part of Ward 111.

“Only households with a monthly income of less than R3 500 qualify for a state-subsidised Breaking New Ground (BNG) housing unit.

“Those who do not qualify for BNG houses will be accommodated through other forms of housing opportunities, according to their monthly income as prescribed by national government.”

Funding for both housing projects is coming from the Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG) from the national Department of Human Settlements.

The grant is used to provide bulk infrastructure for services – that is water, sanitation, as well as roads – for integrated human-settlement developments.

“USDG funding is vital to the City’s efforts in addressing our housing deficit and the upgrading of informal settlements. It is also used for the upgrade of roads and stormwater infrastructure,” Mr Herron said.

Kozette Myburgh, an environmental consultant at Ecosense, a City subcontractor, said it looked like fynbos would have to be cleared to make way for the Maroela North housing development.

“The problem is when it (the fynbos) is isolated it is difficult to conserve it anyway,” she said.

Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) general manager Hishaam Emeran said the agency had done the “conceptual” planning for a new station between the existing Kraaifontein and Muldersvlei stations, but funding was needed before the project could go further.”

This is estimated to take approximately 10 to 12 months.

“Thereafter the construction of the station can go out on tender. It is estimated that the construction will also take approximately 10 to 12 months,” he said.