The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper


Dreams to Reality: Disabled Residents Receive New Homes in Vlakkeland

Michael Hawthorne

PAARL – On Monday, 19 February, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, Minister Tertuis Simmers, and Drakenstein Executive Mayor Conrad Poole brought joy to three families in the Vlakkeland housing development. These families, who had long resided in farms and backyard dwellings, received keys to brand-new homes specifically designed to accommodate their needs.

The Vlakkeland development, a significant project earmarked to offer 2556 housing opportunities, has already seen 755 houses handed over to beneficiaries and 958 serviced sites completed. This initiative demonstrates the Western Cape Government’s ongoing commitment to providing housing solutions for its residents.

One particularly moving handover involved the Malgas family and their 36-year-old wheelchair-bound daughter. Mr Malgas expressed heartfelt gratitude: “We have spent many years struggling to move from backyard to backyard without aid for our wheelchair-bound daughter. Today our prayers have been answered and we are grateful to the Western Cape Government for making this possible for us, most importantly for our daughter.”

These home handovers stem from the 2019 policy shift by the Western Cape Department of Infrastructure, prioritizing those living in backyards, people with disabilities, and farm workers.

The Western Cape Government’s proactive approach to the energy crisis is evident in this project. Minister Simmers’ pilot program to equip homes with solar geysers has not only helped mitigate the impact of load shedding but has significantly improved the lives of indigent households and beneficiaries with disabilities. Due to the program’s overwhelming success, another 540 solar geysers are being installed in the 2023/24 financial year.

Premier Winde emphasized that providing dignified housing solutions is a top priority. “Brick by brick, we are restoring dignity to the most vulnerable and deserving citizens in our province,” he said. “These interventions…represent our drive towards infrastructure-led growth.”

Minister Simmers mirrored this sentiment, “Today reflected the Western Cape Government’s continued innovation to ensure no one is marginalized… It is clear we are on the right track with this initiative.”


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