New homes for 500 Soweto families
More than 500 Johannesburg families will soon have a place they can proudly call home after the Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco), started the development of a new housing project in Dobsonville Extension, Soweto.
The R200 million housing project – one of several the City is undertaking at present – is expected to be completed by June next year. About 700 job opportunities will be created during the construction.
The project will consist of 152 one-bedroom units and 350 two-bedroom homes for residents earning between R3 500 and R7 500 a month. Residents in this income bracket do not qualify for RDP homes or for mortgage bonds.
Speaking at the launch of the development on Tuesday, Johannesburg Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Housing Councillor Dan Bovu said it was heartening to see such an important project coming to fruition.
MMC Bovu also said he was excited that the project would create about 700 job opportunities that would help locals to acquire the necessary skills and alleviate unemployment.
He said in addition to the provision of housing, the development had a number of important benefits.
Chief among these was the fact that R52 million of the R200-million to be spent on the project would be channelled towards the creation of local suppliers, skills training, and small and medium enterprise development.
He encouraged the community to make this project their own, saying: "People are their own liberators and together we can do more."
The MMC also urged would-be owners to pay for their services and refrain from not meeting their financial obligations. He said failure to pay would short-change the community and jeopardise the City's programme to reduce the housing backlog.
MMC Bovu unveiled the project on the same day that he handed over a house in Lehae, near Lenasia, to 83-year-old Chuete Alfred Tevana, who had been living in a backyard shack in Mofolo North, Soweto, with his family for more than 20 years.
He said this was after he was touched by Tevana's living conditions and then asked his staff to speed up a housing allocation for him, his wife Nomaqala Tamari, three children and two grandchildren.
Joshco CEO Rory Gallocher said it was his company's mandate to increase low-cost rental housing so residents who earned between R3 500 and R7 500 a month could have a roof over their heads and move into bonded houses once their economic situation had improved.
"The Dobsonville project adds to the City's growing portfolio of housing initiatives, including Lufhereng, Fleurhof and South Hills developments."