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The City of Cape Town’s Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) is leading three major projects intended to improve the quality of life of those residents living in Masiphumelele.

The construction of 227 Breaking New Ground State-subsidised houses is progressing well, as are the plans for a new minibus-taxi facility, and the proposed extension of Houmoed Avenue. 

‘Access to decent housing opportunities and public transport changes people’s lives. Everything the City of Cape Town does is aimed at improving the lives of those living in Cape Town. In Masiphumelele we are making every effort to improve residents’ living conditions and access to job opportunities. We want to work faster and smarter, in line with the commitments of our Organisational Development and Transformation Plan. For that to happen, we need the local community to assist us, to support us, and to engage with us,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron.

Phase 4 of the Masiphumelele housing project
The City is building 227 Breaking New Ground (BNG) State-subsidised houses as part of Phase 4 of the Masiphumelele housing project. This R55 million project is taking place on two erven: one situated on the corner of Ntansiso and Ntantala Roads and the other in Myeza Road.

‘The construction of the platforms that are needed for the houses, as well as the civil engineering services for the provision of water, electricity, sewerage, streetlights and roads, should be completed within the next few weeks. We issued the tender for the construction of the top structures, i.e. the houses and the installation of electricity and streetlights, on 4 August 2017.

‘I am confident that the supply chain management process will be concluded by the end of the year so that we can start with the construction early in 2018. We are well aware of the dire need for housing in Masiphumelele and I can assure the community we are doing everything within our means to ensure that this project is completed as soon as possible,’ said Councillor Herron.

New minibus-taxi facility
The tender for the construction of a new minibus-taxi facility will be issued tomorrow, 29 September 2017. The facility will be built on a section of the land situated on the corner of Kommetjie and Pokela Roads.

‘Importantly, we will issue two separate tenders for the development of a commercial area and housing opportunities on the remainder of the land. This means that, once fully developed, this site will provide residents with a broad range of services – from access to public transport and retail, to housing opportunities. In so far as the housing aspect is concerned, engagements with the local community will commence once we have a better understanding of how these opportunities can be integrated with the transport and commercial aspects,’ said Councillor Herron.

The new minibus-taxi facility will provide residents with a safe and dignified area for waiting and connecting with their fellow commuters. 

‘The facility will be equipped with a rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panel system for electricity generation as well as rainwater tanks. An administration building will be constructed where operators and management can conduct meetings. Drop-off and pick-up facilities and universally accessible walking lanes will provide safe and easy access to the facility,’ said Councillor Herron.

The minibus-taxi operators are currently operating from Erf 1728 – a vacant erf with no services or facilities for commuters and operators. About 3 300 commuters are using this informal taxi rank on a daily basis and are exposed to the elements – wind, rain, sun – while they are waiting for taxis. 

‘The new minibus-taxi facility will accommodate about 60 minibus-taxis and will serve four destinations, including Fish Hoek, Kommetjie, Simon’s Town and Noordhoek. I am confident that the local community will benefit significantly from this investment and that it will help to improve the quality of life of our residents in Masiphumelele,’ said Councillor Herron.

Importantly, the City will engage with the leadership of Masiphumelele before construction commences.

‘In the meantime, I want to encourage residents from Masiphumelele who need temporary work opportunities to register at the local subcouncil office. Once appointed, the contractor for this project will be obliged to provide temporary employment opportunities to a number of local residents whose names are on the subcouncil database. It is therefore very important that those interested in these opportunities ensure that their names are on the database. The same applies to local subcontractors from the area,’ said Councillor Herron. 

Proposed extension of Houmoed Avenue
The City is planning to extend Houmoed Avenue to provide residents from Masiphumelele with better access to the rest of the village and to make it possible for the South African Police Service, the Fire and Rescue Service, and ambulances to quickly access Masiphumelele in times of need or emergencies. 

The new road between Masiphumelele and the Vlei, if approved, will create new development opportunities along the northern side of Masiphumelele and prevent further encroachment into the Vlei. 

The first section of Houmoed Avenue will be built from the Storage Land behind Longbeach Mall to Lekkerwater Road to function initially as a bypass during the construction of the upgrades to Kommetjie Road and Ou Kaapse Weg; and finally as part of a traffic management solution for this section of the Kommetjie Valley as the road extension will assist in alleviating traffic congestion in this area.  

The second section of the road is planned from Lekkerwater Road behind Masiphumelele to Fish Eagle Park. The second section will provide residents with additional access to Phase 4 of the Masiphumelele housing project which is currently being developed.

Once completed, Houmoed Avenue will be wide enough for vehicles, with sidewalks for pedestrians and bicycle lanes. The City is busy with the planning of the two sections and will engage with the residents of Masiphumelele about the extension of Houmoed Avenue. 

‘By extending Houmoed Avenue, we will create an environment for improved services, including flooding protection and stormwater drainage infrastructure. The new infrastructure will also assist with catching litter and silt before being discharged into the vlei. 

‘Should we be allowed to go ahead, Houmoed Avenue will make it easier for residents from Masiphumelele to get to work, shops, public transport and other services in Sunnydale and Noordhoek. In times of emergencies and need, the police, fire services and ambulances will be able to respond quicker because Houmoed Avenue will give them an extra access route into Masiphumelele. As such, the proposed extension of Houmoed Avenue will assist to improve the living conditions and general safety of the residents of Masiphumelele,’ said Councillor Herron.

Importantly, the City is still busy planning the new road.

‘We need permissions from the Provincial and National Government to build the road. If we get the permissions, we will only start with the construction of the road after we have engaged with the residents of Masiphumelele so that everybody can be informed,’ said Councillor Herron.

The proposal to extend Houmoed Avenue from the intersection with Buller Louw Boulevard to Lekkerwater Road in Sunnydale and from Lekkerwater Road to Fish Eagle Park is subject to environmental authorisation from the Western Cape Government and a water use licence from the National Department of Water and Sanitation, owing to the presence of wetlands inside the road reserve.

‘We will engage with the residents of Masiphumelele about the project soon and we will have frequent and ongoing engagements for as long as the project is ongoing. We are committed to improving the lives of Masiphumelele’s residents. We are eager to do so in cooperation with the community and with their input so that we can ensure the success of these projects,’ said Councillor Herron.