Minister Simmers attends engagements and conducts site visits in Garden Route

04 May 2022 in Where We Govern

Between 27-29 April, newly appointed Western Cape Minister of Infrastructure, Tertuis Simmers conducted various site visits and had engagements in the Garden Route District.

In the Bitou municipal area, engagements occurred with the New Horizons community about the Ebenhaezer Integrated Residential Development Programme (IRDP) housing project, along with the Bitou Council. Pursuant to these engagements site visits were conducted at the Qolweni and the Ebenhaezer developments.

Minister Simmers said: “Both projects are continuing to make significant progress which is welcomed. Should all the various statutory processes be concluded at the Ebenhaezer site, it is envisaged that the construction of top structures could commence in late September 2022. This site is set to deliver 203 housing opportunities during the 2023/24 financial year. I’ll also return in due course to engage the community of Qolweni about the beneficiary list and who the first 30 residents will be that will initially take occupancy of their new homes, followed by the balance in July 2022.”

Following the site visits in Plettenberg Bay, 20 students in Uniondale who were part of the Provincial Department of Human Settlements’ Construction Trades Learnership (CTL) programme received their toolkits and certificate at a ceremonial event.

The visit was concluded with an engagement with the Oudtshoorn Council, a visit to the Dysselsdorp development, Wolwedans emergency housing in Grootbrak Rivier and the Melkhoutfontein development.

Minister Simmers continued: “I’m looking forward to returning to Dysselsdorp to hand over the houses to community members who have waited for a very long time. I’m however deeply concerned to have learned at our engagement with the Oudtshoorn Mayor and municipal housing officials, that some of the beneficiaries have moved in, without their homes being connected to the electricity grid. We have accordingly engaged both the Oudtshoorn Mayor and the municipality’s housing officials, along with the contractor, and they’ve have committed to ensuring that the houses will be connected to the electricity grid, starting this week. It is envisaged that the electrification process will be concluded by the end of June. Further to this, I’d also like to express my gratitude to community members that are assisting in preventing the invasion of units.”

“It is pleasing to note that emergency housing units have been erected at Wolwedans in the Grootbrak Rivier area. I’d like to encourage the remaining families that should still take occupancy of their emergency homes to do so, just as two other families have done. This will ensure that all families are moved from the unstable structure where they’re currently still residing,” added Minister Simmers.

Minister Simmers said: “I’d like to thank the contractor and employees for working so swiftly at the Melkhoutfontein project. To witness the tarred streets and stop signs shows what can occur when you have a focused operation that understands the importance of the project to the people within the Hessequa municipal area.”

“As the Western Cape Government we remain committed to accelerating human settlements delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society,” concluded Minister Simmers.