The Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) recently held a successful workshop in Kempton Park, Gauteng, to provide municipalities with a better understanding of the Social Housing Programme and highlight its relevance to municipalities across South Africa.
Dudu Phoswa, Sector Development and Transformation Specialist at the SHRA, explains that the workshop is part of the municipal support programme that is being implemented by the SHRA. The workshop aimed to introduce municipalities throughout South Africa to the structuring, its functional areas, and the instruments required to implement and manage sustainable social housing developments.
“There are huge demands for affordable quality rental accommodation within municipal areas throughout South Africa. The successful implementation of sustainable social housing programmes is therefore dependent on the proactive participation and involvement of municipalities, which are also mandated to implement social housing programmes,” she adds.
“SHRA is in turn mandated to capacitate such local authorities. The workshop therefore aimed to identify opportunities and acquaint participants with the most effective and sustainable ways to implement local social housing programmes.”
“The interaction with workshop participants also enabled SHRA − which is the regulatory body responsible for regulating, capacitating, and investment in the social housing sector − to better identify and tackle challenges in the delivery of social housing projects at a local government level.”
Part of the workshop programme was a visit to the Germiston Fire Station Phase 1 & 2 Social Housing Project, which is also known as Chris Hani Village. This project is implemented by the City of Ekurhuleni in partnership with the Ekurhuleni Housing Company (EHC), Provincial Human Settlements Department and the SHRA. It is funded by the City of Ekurhuleni and the SHRA through the Consolidated Capital Grant and is aimed at a low–moderate rent housing market.
Chris Hani Village social housing project comprises 144 units that were delivered during Phase 1, while 197 units will be delivered during Phase 2. Nine of these are commercial units. The total project cost is R150 million for both phases. The development also comprises three- to four-storey units with two bedrooms as well as one-bedroom and bachelor flats with kitchen, living area and a bathroom. A crèche/multipurpose centre will be delivered as part of Phase 2 of the project.
Phoswa adds that Phase 1 of the project is complete and has been tenanted by the EHC. “With 157 units delivered, Phase 2 is approximately 85% completed, and the city has handed over the units to EHC for tenanting.”
“The impressive Chris Hani Village project shows just what can be achieved with the necessary vision, planning and cooperation between different levels and entities of government. We at SHRA are proud of and humbled by what has been achieved here. The project is an excellent example of how sustainable, high quality social housing projects can be successfully delivered in restructured zones,” she adds.
Noxolo Jali, Portfolio Manager at the SHRA, says the site visit to Chris Hani Village enabled the municipal delegates to see just what such a project can deliver in terms of affordable, quality housing, which is in high demand in South Africa. “It also allowed the participants to observe how a social housing development aimed at works in practice and what the end product of such a development can and should look like.”
Jali added that the site visit was a means to provide the delegation with a practical illustration of the discussion that took place during the workshop. “This project is a good example of the social housing product. With Chris Hani Village being a phased development, it was great to see the construction progress on the second phase of the project, and the completed units under the first phase. We also had the wonderful opportunity to engage with the tenants, who are also our valued beneficiaries.”
Phumzile Ndlovu, of Germiston, has been staying at the Chris Hani Village for two months and says that it has not only saved her money but also provided her family with attractive and highly convenient accommodation that is much better than previous places she has lived.
“It’s really affordable for people like me who are starting out in life,” she says. “Everything is easily accessible because we have a hospital, clinic, a shopping centre, and schools nearby, and a
crèche, park, and playground for the kids. I’m happy to live here.”
Zinhle Majola is 33 years old and has been living with her family in the Chris Hani Village development for five years. She says being provided the opportunity to stay in the Village has been a “dream” for her and her family.
“It is classy but also highly affordable. The Village has good security and is very safe. And, we have easy access to good schools, good roads, and are close to the mall, hospital, and other facilities,” she volunteers.
Jali concludes: “We had an amazing visit to the Chris Hani Village during which delegates were afforded the opportunity to see that this is not just a building or a block of flats, but a high quality and dynamic residential development set within an appealing environment.”