Citizens urged to be active in their own development

Pretoria - Human Settlements Minister Connie September has called on citizens to take ownership and be active participants in their own development.

September was speaking at the launch and handing over of 106 energy efficient low-cost houses at Delft Symphony in Cape Town on Tuesday.

"Mistakes have been made and sometimes there is a lack of proper consultation with communities when making decisions that would affect them and their families," she said, appealing to the community to participate in all the processes regarding development in their area.

September also emphasised the need of strengthening community consultation and engagement by all three spheres of government.

One of the beneficiaries, 84-year-old Nomisile Klaas, had lived in the Thubelisha Temporary Relocation Area for years after she was moved from Tsunami informal settlement in 2005.

"I am very happy for this house that has started to bring relief for my pain. I waited for long and finally my patience has been rewarded," said an emotional Klaas.

Elizabeth Williams, a 64-year-old widow who has been living with her sister in Delft for the past 11 years, said: "Living in a shack is not human... I am very happy that I will regain my dignity and be able to share this lovely house with my daughter and my son."

A total of R307 million has been allocated for the Delft Symphony Precincts 3 & 5 project, which will produce 1 911 housing units on completion. One hundred and six of these units have been completed and ready for occupation.

This is the first project implemented in the Western Cape making use of alternative building Technologies (ABT) methods.

The product consists of a steel framework with magnesium oxide walling panels filled with polyurethane and is known as the Vela System.

The primary advantage of the product is that it possesses superior energy efficient qualities. This means that the walling system ensures a stable and temperate climate inside and outside the unit.

This result in less energy usage required to heat up or cool down a house. The project is less than 10km away from the Cape Town CDB and is also surrounded by amenities like schools, a police station, work places and shopping centre.