De Lille calls for faster implementation of housing project

Johannesburg – Public Works and Infrastructure Minister, Patricia de Lille, has appealed to the implementing spheres of government and departments to work more closely to unblock any impediments standing in the way of moving the Lufhereng project forward.

“The Lufhereng Human Settlements project was one of 62 projects gazetted by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) as a Strategic Integrated Project (SIP) on 24 July 2020. [This] in terms of the Infrastructure Development Act which means that it will now follow an expedited path to delivery and is being monitored by a SIP steering committee to ensure that any delays and blockages are addressed speedily.”

De Lille explained said the Lufhereng project commenced a few years ago with many beneficiaries already living in the development, which caters for various housing typologies and income brackets.

“With this project gazetted under SIP 24, it will see all three spheres of government working together much closer to see this project being expedited and implemented at a faster pace. Being gazetted as a SIP means this project has been prioritised by all three spheres of government with closer working relations to ensure that this project is implemented successfully,” de Lille said.

Speaking during her oversight visit at the Lufhereng construction site in Gauteng on Thursday, the Minister said the project has been planned as a fully integrated and mixed-use suburb, which will be the jewel in the west of greater Soweto.

Mega project

The Lufhereng project is located within the City of Johannesburg to the West of Soweto and was classified as a mega housing project on 2 000 hectares of land secured by the City of Johannesburg for the western expansion of Soweto.

The project has the capacity to accommodate over 30 000 households in a wide variety of housing typologies and land tenure options.

De Lille said the main objective of the Lufhereng Project is to address the housing waiting list of people living in informal settlements or backyard dwellings in Soweto.

She said Lufhereng will be a destination of choice where families of various income levels and new homeowners will settle and obtain security of title to provide a safe and secure environment for their families.

To date, 1 319 housing units of various typologies have been completed and are occupied and around 2 093 housing units of varying typologies are currently under construction.

The City of Johannesburg and its appointed contractors are implementing the development. This as the project is being implemented in 10 phases over a number of years up to 2029.

The oversight visit forms part of Minister de Lille’s duties to monitor progress of the 62 projects, which were gazetted as SIPs as part of the Infrastructure Investment Plan approved by Cabinet on 27 May 2020.

One of the beneficiaries, Nokuthulu Nkabinde, a mother of two children, told SAnews that she is happy that she finally has a home.

“Before getting my own place, I was struggling, renting a shack which was very small and could not accommodate all of us. One of my kids was staying with relatives,” she said.

“I thank our government for making it possible for me to have my own house,” she said.

Many of the gazetted projects like the Lufhereng project are currently under construction, which is being expedited to assist in reviving the struggling construction sector and provide much-needed jobs to people.

The Lufhereng development entails the following:

  • Fully subsidized units (RDP and high density) – 12 200 units
  • Housing under the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Program (FLISP) – 4 200 units
  • Social housing – 7 750 units
  • Fully bonded units – 6 750 units
  • Eighteen educational facilities
  • Commercial development retail, offices, filling stations etc.) 420 000 m²
  • Parks, recreational sites, sport centres etc. – 216 000 m², and
  • Urban agriculture – 940 000 m²

To date the following has been completed:

  • RDP houses completed and transferred: 339
  • RDP units in construction: 1 496
  • FLISP units completed and transferred: 863
  • FLISP units under construction: 190
  • Social housing under construction: 407
  • Bonded units construction and transferred: 117

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