Garden Cities has exceeded its current target of 2 000 occupations of its BNG (Breaking New Ground) homes at Greenville, the company’s integrated residential development near Fisantekraal to the north-east of Durbanville.
Launched in 2016, the suburb will eventually comprise 16 000 houses, catering to a broad economic spectrum, along with a planned infrastructure of services, schools, healthcare and retail, much of which is already in place.
By October 31, 2022 a total of 2072 new BNG houses had been occupied at Greenville, and, in a programme that has catered for expected take-up of the homes, another 100 are already built. They are expected to be owned and occupied by early next year, when the next phase of the building programme commences. Production of the houses is being staged to accommodate demand by first-time homeowners receiving Government grants to buy their own houses.
Greenville Garden City has evolved steadily over the past six years, and more recently, in parallel with the BNG homes, single residential is being built and sold to homeowners who can afford to service personal home loans. The entire Greenville project took eight years of planning and changes, before commencement of the development.
The suburban economic integration of Greenville will occur at the retail and service hubs that will include national retailers and other community services. Shoprite U Save and Liquor Store is currently trading and the community doesn’t have to travel to Durbanville for grocery shopping.
Initiated by Garden Cities, the progressive BNG project quickly matured into a public/private partnership between Garden Cities, the Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town (COCT), through which the government’s home grants to beneficiaries are administered.
The development of Greenville came at a time when the biggest challenge to the Cape Town metropole was identified as the estimated influx of an additional 700 000 people by 2030.
SKILLS AND EDUCATION
Among its progressive development of skills and education, Garden Cities provided a purpose designed R4.2 million building in Greenville for the Fisantekraal Centre for Development, a training facility that helps unemployed people to find jobs in a variety of sectors. Tjeka Training School is also operational with the provision of training to artisans in the construction sector.
A technical school procurement process is currently underway with Public Works whereby the local and surrounding residents will be afforded an opportunity to further their studies in the various technical fields. Due to the demand for a High School in the area, a few temporary classes were built to cater for Grade 8 and 9 within the Primary School premises.
The clinic is also operational and various community sites were sold to churches and community services NGOs. An ECD is currently under construction and anticipated to start operating in the next few months.
Celebrating its fifth anniversary is the enormously successful Mosselbank River Conservation Team (MRCT) that was initiated by Garden Cities. It engaged with local community leaders who in turn identified various residents, NGOs and community-based organisations who had an interest in improving their environment.
Garden Cities participated in community meetings and workshops hosted by GiveWise foundation, sharing their programme objectives and obtaining input from the community.
During the five years of engagement, the stakeholders’ list has been growing. The main stakeholders in the collaborative includes Garden Cities, City of Cape Town Water and Sanitation Department, Nature Connect, PlasticsSA, Tygerburger, RNDA, Wonlife, UWC, VULA, Shoprite Act for Change and local community based organisations in Greenville and Fisantekraal.
Prominent among those generating a community spirit at the outset, was local tenant farmer, Duncan Stephenson, of Patrysfontein – a farm leased from Garden Cities. Concerned about the pollution of the Mosselbank River, a major watercourse in Fisantekraal, Stephenson undertook at his own cost to employ teams of local residents to clean the river and surrounding bush, with great success.
Stephenson’s motivation came from what he described as “the enormous fallout of debris from the informal settlement, strewn garbage and dangerous items such as hypodermic needles and used condoms create a danger for the children who play in the river,” he said.
Under controlled and safe conditions, teams are able to maintain regular clearing. The work includes removal of alien vegetation and household refuse that has attracted rats and snakes that prey on them.