George and Mossel Bay receive Govan Mbeki Awards
‘Twenty Years of Freedom’ was the theme of the recent Western Cape Government’s Govan Mbeki Awards in May this year. A tribute to the late Govan Mbeki and the important role he played in nation building, the awards aim to promote a culture of excellence among all stakeholders involved in delivering quality human settlements through stimulating healthy competition among municipalities and provinces. The programme also recognises contributions of all role players in the housing value chain – building contractors, consultancy services and building material suppliers.
In the provincial awards’ Best Informal Settlements Upgrading Project (UISP) category the winning project was George Municipality’s Thembalethu Upgrading of Informal Settlements Project (UISP), followed in second place by the Wolwedans Informal Settlements development project by Mossel Bay Municipality.
This is a seven-year programme of George Municipality; the scope of the Thembalethu project covers the incremental development of 4,350 formal residential sites with full, permanent municipal services and eventually top structures on 10 land parcels, for identified households from 22 informal settlement areas. As implementing agent, Aurecon is responsible for all multi-disciplinary professional services required for the upgrading and extension of the bulk and connection services infrastructure, the development of the fully serviced sites and, in time, construction of the top structures for qualifying beneficiaries. The remit also includes facilitating all community-based participatory planning engagement as well as managing the relocation processes with minimal inconvenience to the beneficiary households.
Wolwedans Human Settlements Development Project
Mossel Bay Municipality was challenged by the lack of suitable housing development sites available to address the dire living conditions of informal settlements in the Great Brak River area. The innovative solution arrived at by the project team was to integrate the informal settlements with the formal Wolwedans and adjacent Green Haven areas through a combination of incremental in situ upgrading and relocation of households to newly developed ‘greenfield’ sites – a total development of 675 housing opportunities. The steep slopes on some of the sites required skilled engineering solutions for foundation and infrastructure layout. Aurecon’s role was that of project manager and consulting engineer (civil and structural).
In 2013 this project also won a Special Merit Award from the Southern African Housing Foundation “in recognition of the project’s holistic and integrated upgrading of the informal settlements, the provision of security of tenure, a healthy and secure living environment and community empowerment through the promotion of social and economic integration,” the judges’ stated.
“The success of these challenging human settlement upliftment projects reflects the impressive commitment and determination of the municipalities involved,” comments Aurecon’s Francois Theron, project leader, land development services. “At the Awards ceremony, both clients expressed deep appreciation for the sustained, quality services rendered by Aurecon.”
More information from Jody Boshoff, Tel: +27(0)12 427 2066 / www.aurecongroup.com
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