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Operation overhaul

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Operation overhaul

by Tammy Petersen
09 Sep 2008
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

A COMPLETE overhaul of the 1680 triple-storey council flats in Hanover Park is on the cards - R21million has been set aside by the City of Cape Town to revitalise the dilapidated housing units.

Everything from leaking roofs to creaking staircases will be redone, with the two-year project kicking off later this month.

Manenberg will also see a drastic change in its housing units, as the area, along with Kewtown, Ottery and Heideveld, will also form part of the pilot phase of the city's project to upgrade its council flats.

Subcouncil chairperson Charlotte Williams says this initiative is "long overdue", especially in areas like Manenberg and Kewtown.

"Some people have been living in these terrible conditions for up to 30 years. There has been a desperate need for this and it's satisfying to know that this problem will now be taken care of."

Hanover Park ward councillor Kenneth Lategan says the first goal of the project will be to appoint a community liaison officer who will work with tenants. Project managers will be appointed to ensure that all residents' concerns are given priority.

"It will be the responsibility of this person (liaison officer) to ensure that every unit is inspected thoroughly and all concerns are listed and given proper attention. This person will ideally represent the people and assist in overseeing the smooth running of the project."

He estimates that this phase will take an estimated six months, "depending on the co-operation of the residents".

He says the contract will thereafter go to tender and encourages all local contractors to submit their tenders so that job opportunities can as far as possible be offered to residents of the courts. "However, the contractor will be selected totally on merit as we do not want a situation where substandard services will be delivered," Lategan says.

"The contractor will obviously come with their own team of labourers but it will also be added in the contract that local labour should also be given priority."

Lategan emphasises that residents should take more interest in the renovation: apparently, during two previous meetings - the most recent being on Thursday 21 August - less than a quarter of the residents attended.

"A notice was given to every court about the meeting, yet there seems to be an air of disinterest from the residents.

"I would like to appeal to everyone to be part of this process as they are probably going to be staying in these courts for the rest of their lives.

"The sad thing is that it will be those who were too lazy to give their input who will complain the most."

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