The first 320 flats to be upgraded as part of the nationwide Community Residential Upgrade (CRU) Project have been officially unveiled by the Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Alderman Patricia de Lille.
Kewtown in Athlone – which was chosen to be the first CRU Project in the country – is just the start, she said, with many more such projects planned across the metro.
The City of Cape Town will be working closely with people to improve their homes, and in so doing, improving the city, she added.
The CRU Project is a national initiative, implemented by municipalities, to upgrade housing units across the country.
The Kewtown project started in January 2010 with major refurbishments to 20 four-storey City-owned rental properties.
The upgrade included renovating buildings, roofs, electrical and plumbing systems, installing new ceilings, floor coverings, cupboards and geysers, fencing, refuse management, area lighting, the greening of areas and recreational facilities.
One of the objectives of the project is the involvement of local stakeholders and the use of local labour, with over 60% of the workforce comprising community members, hired through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).
Speaking at the launch, the Executive Mayor said the upgrade is part of the City of Cape Town’s commitment to becoming more inclusive and more caring and helping people build better lives.
“We want to build a city where everyone feels at home and knows that they have a stake in the future.”
Although there are a number of constraints and challenges, such as housing delivery and social issues, the City has to be smart with its investments, and the smartest investment the City can make is in its communities, she added.
“Communities allow people to come together and thrive; they give people a sense of belonging and a safe environment in which they can raise families. Communities are the bricks of this great city we are building.”
The CRU programme shares this philosophy, she said.
The investment of financial and human resources in the Kewtown project has paid off, but it is not a once-off success story, as “we must always challenge ourselves to improve on our own record of delivery.
“Because of our ability to work with one another, the residents of Kewtown will be able to enjoy a revitalised community and homes of which they can be proud.”
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