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Tuesday Oct 06, 2020

President unveils Mooikloof inclusive development

With more than 200 of the 50 000 apartments already bought at the weekend, the Mooikloof Integrated Development in Tshwane was launched this weekend by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The multibillion-rand development east of Tshwane has been designed to bridge the long-standing gap among different social classes.

The development is located off Garsfontein Drive, which will be extensively redeveloped.

It is about 6km from the junction with De Villebois Mareuil Drive where Woodlands Boulevard Mall is located. It is also 8km from Solomon Mahlangu Drive, which gives access to the N4 and other main arterial routes.

It was launched yesterday by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who described it as the outcome of a very successful public-private process and an example of how each sector’s interests could be aligned and work for mutual benefit.

He congratulated Balwin Properties, the developers who worked with the provincial government and City of Tshwane to bring the project to fruition.

Ramaphosa also hailed the district development model, which called for a collaboration of the three spheres of government as something that had made the project possible.

The development has an estimated project value of over R84 billion and was one of the 62 strategic integrated projects gazetted at the end of July.

The City of Tshwane facilitated approval of appropriate zoning and provision of water, wastewater and energy bulk infrastructure.

"We are walking the talk on enabling conditions for development by issuing licences and zoning rights speedily," the president said.

Balwin Properties founder and chief executive Steve Brookes said they had heeded the president’s call for inclusionary housing and were especially thrilled about what this development could mean for the country in the aftermath of Covid-19.

"Not only will it boost the economy but it will also create about 115 000 direct and indirect job opportunities.

"Mooikloof Mega City has been designed specifically for the gap housing market defined as housing opportunities for people earning a combined monthly income of between R3 501 and R18 000.

"These are the income earners who earn too much to get a free house from government, but too little to get a housing bond," said Brookes.

He said a total of 50 000 housing units would be built to accommodate about 250 000 people. People earning between R3 000 and R22 000 a month can apply for a loan through the government’s Finance Linked Individual Subsidy programme.

Government would subsidise applicants, which Ramaphosa said would seek to address the country’s housing backlog.

Ramaphosa also introduced what he called the 40-40-40 principle. "Spatial integration is aimed at undoing a prominent feature of the apartheid project. We continue to feel the effects of apartheid spatial design in what may be termed the 40-40-40 principle.

"Most people are housed 40km from employment opportunities. As a result, they spend over 40 minutes travelling to and from work and more than 40% of their incomes on transport expenses. In many cases, those affected are the poor who live in 40m² houses."

To accommodate those affected by this legacy, the location of the Mooikloof Mega City Development ensures that it targeted first-time homeowners.

Brookes said: "Accordingly, first-time homebuyers and qualifying individuals will have assistance through the programme, which grants first-time buyers a subsidy of between R27 960 and R121 626 towards the purchase of a home."

The initial 16 000 apartments will be built in phases over the next few years and are valued at about R9.6bn. Extended to 50 000 apartments, the total value will be about R44bn. Unit prices would range from R499 000 to R799 000.

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille said government’s aim was to promote integration among communities by helping those who have no access to housing to obtain home loans from banks.

She said it would address apartheid spatial planning and was in line with government’s Batho Pele principle.

Pretoria News 5 Oct 2020 SAKHILE NDLAZI


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