Committee supports R2.2bn project but wants more answers
A R2.2-billion development is on the cards for Nelson Mandela Bay after the city’s human settlements standing committee threw its weight behind a proposed social and mixed-used housing project yesterday.
The New Horizon project, headed up by Mthatha-based Maluti Housing, is expected to see 4 090 families access affordable housing about 2km from Baywest, between Greenbushes and Bridgemeade.
The project is expected to start immediately after it gets the green light from the council.
Councillors on the committee agreed yesterday to endorse the project but requested more details and other documents for the next sitting.
The housing project will now form part of the next human settlements standing committee meeting agenda.
If passed, it will be taken to the mayoral committee before being tabled in council for a final decision.
Despite the project being endorsed, some concerns were raised by councillors, including land ownership, economic benefits for black-owned businesses and technical implications for the metro.
But during a presentation yesterday, Maluti Housing chief executive Saleem van Staaden assured the committee that all relevant documentation had been obtained and the project just needed the city’s endorsement to go ahead.
“We have come to request your approval and endorsement in order to start a multibillion[-rand] project in your city. We know this is doable,” he said.
“The land parcels are in place and phase one can start as soon as we have your approval.
“However, phase two is where the magic lies.”
Phase one is expected to see 220 houses constructed, while phase two will see the additional 3 870 houses built.
Van Staaden said 35 hectares of land had been obtained for the project.
EFF councillor Zilindile Vena said he was concerned about the project’s economic benefits once construction started.
“Who will benefit, because there are people who reside in Nelson Mandela Bay who have skills to [build the development],” he said.
Vena was also concerned about how the municipality would hold the developer accountable should challenges arise.
ANC councillor Andile Lungisa, who attended a human settlements standing committee meeting for the first time since he was deployed by his party in June, said the committee would not support the project if it did not speak to radical economic transformation.
“I have noticed that the companies mentioned as your technical support are white-owned.
“This year we are not going to support companies that are not part of the radical economic transformation agenda,” Lungisa said.
DA councillor Trevor Louw, who was standing in for portfolio head Nqaba Bhanga as chairman, said the committee needed to follow due processes and have the item included on the next agenda.
“We would like to see all the outstanding items, including a record of decision (ROD),” he said.