Ninety-one-year-old academic challenges businesses to help with housing delivery

2020-12-02T11:33:04+00:00December 2nd, 2020|News|

Dr Beatrice Wiid (91) has been working tirelessly over her decades-long career, into her extremely active ‘retirement’ and as Chairperson of the Board of the Interchange Foundation to help others through her social action values-approach to life.

One of her great passions is for housing and through her efforts, she has raised R340 000 from corporates to build Ms Nomonde Tshdna her own home in Khayelitsha. The City salutes Dr Wiid for her extraordinary contribution to the people of Cape Town. Her actions are testament to how we are all interconnected in Cape Town and it illustrates the concepts of private sector partnership and innovation that the City’s new Draft Human Settlements Strategy has at its core.

Government alone cannot solve the affordable housing challenge. Dr Wiid’s efforts show that a big opportunity exists for corporates to take a look at housing provision for qualifying members of their staff, especially as part of their corporate social responsibility efforts.

Dr Beatrice Wiid (91) raised R340 000 from corporates to build Ms Nomonde Tshdna her own home in Khayelitsha. Image credit: City of Cape Town

Dr Beatrice Wiid (91) raised R340 000 from corporates to build Ms Nomonde Tshdna her own home in Khayelitsha. Image credit: City of Cape Town

“Every bit helps. It shows that one person can make a big difference to the living conditions and dreams of another. I encourage more people and companies to get involved and to see how we can help one another as part of the Cape Town community. Charity begins at home. Home involves everyone in the community. Our slogan in the Interchange Foundations is ‘Together We Become’ and this is a vital vision for how we can approach the roll out of housing in other communities,” said Dr Wiid, who lives in the Helderberg area.

Dr Wiid raised the R340 000 for Ms Tshdna’s house through corporate sponsorship and construction started in February this year. COVID-19 delayed the process somewhat, but the house was completed on 24 November 2020. It was handed over yesterday, 30 November 2020.

City human settlements officials assisted with the process in their spare time.

“I am really happy today and thankful for the effort and dedication from Ms Wiid and everyone who has been involved. Now I have a place to call my own and something to leave to my family one day,” said Ms Tshdna.

“It is so apt that on the last day of the public participation process on our Draft Human Settlements Strategy, we were able to join this very special handover and that Dr Wiid was there to see the fruits of her labour. Bless her and the important work that she is doing. Thank you to our officials who have donated their private time and expertise.

“Our strategy says we are all connected and what happens on the one end affects the other end. We have a huge task ahead. The affordable housing need is greater than ever, and informality is growing in Cape Town and in the rest of South Africa’s urban centres as the national economic situation declines. We need new and innovative partnerships and plans to create the communities that we want to have in Cape Town. We have so many residents and corporates that are wondering how they can make a difference, and helping with the delivery of housing and also with serviced sites will be one of the greatest contributions they can make to the lives of their employees. The sole reliance on government for the provision of brick and cement housing will simply not address the housing need. National government grants for formal housing are reducing rapidly and we need strong private- and public-sector partnerships,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Malusi Booi.