Community and Charity

Better days ahead for hundreds of Langa hostel beneficiaries

The City of Cape Town is proud to announce that 321 households have thus far moved into their new rental apartments as part of the City’s flagship Langa Hostels Transformation Project.

The first beneficiaries of the City’s project in Langa, which is designated as a special redress project, starting moving into their new rental units in September and thus far 321 households have taken occupation of their new apartments.

“This is a great milestone as more than half of the intended beneficiaries have now moved into their flats. A further 142 beneficiaries will be moved over the coming weeks, if all goes according to plan. The progress that has been made has been as a result of a monumental effort from officials, contractors, other stakeholders, the community and beneficiaries. It shows that we can truly only make progress possible when we all work together”.

“This development is not about the bricks and the mortar. It is a project that is strengthening family bonds; reuniting families who were torn apart by the apartheid migrant labour system; and enabling a better future for these households,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Benedicta van Minnen.

It has been agreed that beneficiaries would be moved into their units as they were completed and not have to wait for the completion of the entire project. The engagements about the allocation of units and the project in general have been in-depth, inclusive and thorough over months. A clear allocation process was agreed upon and is being followed.

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.

The first phase comprises the relocation of 463 households currently living in the New Flats and Special Quarters hostels and in the Siyahlala informal settlement in Langa. The vacated blocks and informal structures on the three sites are demolished immediately once they are vacated and the land cleared to make way for the construction of Phase 2 of the project. If this does not happen, there is simply no land on which the City can build and we would not be able to accommodate the rest of the beneficiaries as it is planned that the balance of households living in the New Flats and Special Quarters hostels will be relocated to the Phase 2 units.

The last remaining blocks will then be demolished, making way for the implementation of the remainder of this phase.

“The allocations process has been driven by the practical consideration that without the required land, the project cannot go ahead. The allocations have been done in accordance with the applicable criteria and in consultation with the legitimate Project Steering Committee. The timeline of allocations has been agreed upon so as to free up the essential land required in phases for the development of this project”.

“Some of these families have been living in the terrible apartheid-era conditions prevailing in the Langa hostels for the past 40 years. We regard this as one of the largest redress projects in the Western Cape,” said Councillor Van Minnen.

Demolition work has started in all of the feeder areas (the vacated blocks and informal settlement) and preparation for the second phase of the project is under way.