GREENVILLE GARDEN CITY PHASES ONE & TWO: 1 140 BNG HOMES COMPLETED AND HANDED OVER
To date 1 140 Breaking New Ground (BNG) houses have been built and handed over to their new owners in Phase One and Two of Greenville Garden City, the 767ha new town in Fisantekraal.. All the recipients of the houses are former backyard dwellers or occupants of informal housing in the area, and have never owned property before.
Phase Two will be completed in February 2020 and Phase Three internal services, that have already started, will be completed in January 2020. Construction of houses will commence in February 2020.
Launched in March 2016, Greenville is, in its first stages, a private/public partnership between the City of Cape Town, the Provincial Government and non-profit residential developer, Garden Cities.
The entire suburb will eventually comprise 16 000 homes across the entire economic spectrum, and include bonded housing, but the initial stages will concentrate on providing for people in desperate need of homes. Included in the first phase are eight business sites that will be for rent to local traders and service providers.
A total of approximately 5 700 people are now housed in Greenville whose homeowners are beneficiaries of the developer driven individual subsidy (Provincial Government grants) that cover their purchase costs. Only approved beneficiaries are eligible for a house.
The tripartite collaboration involves allocation of the houses by the City of Cape Town from its waiting list, and the administration of the grants provided by the Provincial Government. Garden Cities, the Western Cape’s biggest and oldest residential developer, which celebrates its centenary this year, has provided the land, and undertakes the construction of the houses. The company also assists the applicants with completing the required application forms and supporting documents, which are submitted to CoCT, from where they are forwarded to the Provincial authorities.
Garden Cities has maintained an average of 25 to 30 houses a month since inception of the project and has moved on to the second phase of houses in the BNG category. The houses are constructed using an innovative material, Benex blocks, invented in Australia. The blocks and associated materials, including panels and roofs, are now produced by previously unskilled and unemployed local people in an Epping factory which also exports the product back to Australia.
All the current phase houses are 42sqm, except for the units for disabled residents that are 45sqm, to provide for disability specifications. Disabled applicants also get an allowance if their disability if endorsed by a qualified doctor.
The eight business sites at Greenville have been rented out to local entrepreneurs and NGOs. Garden Cities is assisting them through an Enterprise and Supplier Development programme, which will see them being mentored on business skills.
A Community/Youth centre will also be built as part of the first phase, as there is only one facility of this kind to service the whole community including the old Fisantekraal. A service provider is currently being sourced through the Western Cape Social Development.
As part of the community development, the Department of Public works has submitted an offer to purchase the allocated Primary School site to meet the urgent need for a second primary school in the area. The construction of a clinic by City Health will start shortly. Various petrol companies are interested in a site for a service station. A skills school will also be built in partnership with Tjeka. Discussions are currently underway to build a convenience shopping centre that will be anchored by a grocery store.
So far, the project has created over 150 job opportunities for local residents, who have been employed since the beginning. Some local subcontractors were also afforded an opportunity to participate, although most of the employment is on an individual basis.
As part of its own community development initiative, Garden Cities has been funding some sports activities in the community and there is an excellent synergy between the company’s northern areas residential project Pinehurst, near Durbanville, where swimming and football training facilities have been made available to Greenville residents.
Garden Cities has also set up a community improvement programme advocating good citizenship, and leadership as well as entrepreneurial skills, run by a local professional.
A team of volunteers who look after the environmental issues around Greenville has been formed, with a mandate to ensure the Mosselbank River corridor that runs through the area, is kept clean. The team also encourages local people to clean up their community and monitors the illegal dumping in the river. This team has since been formalised, with personalised protective equipment and a donated container they use as headquarters. The team has also attended various training programmes, including snake handling.