Areas and Places Community and Charity

City's first Langa rental apartments nearing completion

Approximately R100 million has been spent thus far on the construction of the 15 blocks comprising the 93 two-bedroom units.

The City of Cape Town’s construction of the first 93 units of the 463 rental apartments which are being built in Langa is nearing completion. The City regards this project as one of its most important redress initiatives and it forms part of the Langa Hostel Transformation Programme.

The City hopes that the first of the beneficiaries will be able to take occupation in time for the start of spring.

The 463 units which are being built on the Old Depot Site in Langa form part of the first phase of a project which will ultimately see the construction of more than 1 300 units in the next five years.

During this phase of the Langa project, which comprises two phases, the 463 households will be relocated from the hostels to these secure two-bedroom apartments which all come with individual kitchenettes, toilets, showers and solar-heated water systems, wash-lines and space for children to play safely in the grounds.

“We regard this as one of the largest redress projects in the Western Cape and our vision of eradicating the horrific apartheid-era hostels is visibly being realised. Apart from the physical build, we are, however, also trying to contribute to the building of strong family bonds which were shattered in many instances as a result of the National Government policies and legislation.”

Some of these families have been living in the terrible conditions prevailing in the Langa hostels for the past 40 years and not only am I proud of the progress that has been achieved, but also of the partnership that has been fostered between the City and the beneficiaries,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Benedicta van Minnen.

This project is the first Hostel Transformation Programme under the Human Settlements Directorate’s Community Residential Unit Programme for Langa. The City’s overall Hostel Transformation Programme will eventually be rolled out to other qualifying beneficiaries in Langa, Gugulethu and Nyanga.

Under the apartheid regime, the hostels provided accommodation in single-gender dormitories for migrant labourers who possessed ‘bed cards’ which allowed them to occupy a bed in a hostel room. Since the repeal of the influx control legislation and the advent of democracy, many ‘bed card’ holders have naturally been joined by their families seeking a better life in the city. This has led to extreme overcrowding and an inevitable deterioration in the provision of sanitation and ablutions as well as social space available in the hostel precincts.

This phase of the project will be able to accommodate all qualifying residents in various hostels such as from the New Flats and Special Quarters areas and also qualifying residents from the Siyahlala informal settlement.

“I trust that the community will continue to work with the City to ensure that we can complete this project and improve the living conditions of hundreds of families,” said Councillor Van Minnen.