Metro snatches three awards for housing projects

Nelson Mandela Bay scooped three top awards at the national Govan Mbeki Housing Awards for its integrated and social housing projects in Walmer township and Fairview.

The annual awards ceremony, held in Durban on Thursday night, saw the Bay getting top honours for the way it has managed housing projects on behalf of the Eastern Cape Department of Human Settlements.

The three awards were for best social housing project for Fairview Links, best integrated residential project for the Walmer Gqebera 189 programme, and best metro Level Two accreditation.

The annual Govan Mbeki Awards, an initiative by the Department of Human Settlements, is aimed at showcasing and rewarding excellence in the sector.

The Bay’s acting human settlements executive director, Luthando Mabhoza, said the city was very happy about all the awards, especially the one for social housing.

“The demand is growing for these units as it caters for the gap market, and earlier on – on the day of the awards – all our submitted restructuring zones were approved and this will help us intensify these kinds of projects,” Mabhoza said.

The Fairview Links project is aimed at providing rental accommodation in a well-located area of the city for residents earning between R2 500 and R7 500 a month.

Winning the enhanced people housing programme for Walmer Gqebera 189 means the municipality has been successful in moving residents closer to its amenities, provincial human settlements spokesman Lwandile Sicwetsha said.

Sicwetsha said being a Level Two accredited municipality gave the Bay accreditation to “manage its own housing projects”.

It cannot, however, receive funding directly from national Treasury to build houses until it receives Level Three accreditation.

Imizi Housing chief executive Tony Lloyd, whose company is responsible for the Fairview Links and Walmer Links projects, said it was the second year in a row that they had walked away with awards.

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