/ 14 June 2013

The Govan Mbeki Awards 2013 winners

Building A Better South Africa

Best informal settlements project
Winner: Eastern Cape — Addo Nomathamsanqa 300
The eradication of informal settlements in the country continues to be one of the biggest challenges currently facing South Africa.

The problem is exacerbated by the influx of people from rural areas to towns and cities in search for a better life.

Upgrading of informal settlements remains one of the most important programmes for the department of human settlements.

South Africa is party to the UN's millennium development goals that commit member countries to eliminate the slums and informal settlements that are home to more than 100-million people worldwide.

The Addo Nomathamsanqa 300 company in the Eastern Cape was the recipient of the Best Informal Settlement Project Award at the Govan Mbeki 2013 Awards ceremony held on June 6 in Johannesburg.

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale hailed the company, saying the award recognised excellence and those who made a difference in the lives of citizens by producing the best quality work in housing delivery.

Best rural project
Winner: Limpopo — Aganang local municipality
The Aganang local municipality of the Capricorn district of Limpopo province was recognised as having the best rural project.

The project involved Rirothe Construction building 500 homes at a cost of R28.9-million.

Single parents, senior citizens and the disabled were the main targets of the project.

Among the areas that were assisted with homes were the Coopers Park, Mohlatjeng villages, Eldorado and Montz villages of Blouberg municipality.

Other projects completed were for the Legothwane and Matobole villages in the Polokwane municipality.

The head of the department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs in Limpopo, Nana Manamela, was very excited with the recognition.

She said that the award reflected the commitment of the province for improving the lives of ita people despite the administrative difficulties it has been experiencing.

Best social housing project
Winner: Gauteng — Fleurhof Social Housing Project
The Fleurhof Social Housing Project was recognised with the Best Social Housing Project Award at the recent Govan Mbeki 2013 awards.

Situated between Soweto and Florida, the project provides affordable housing for low income earners who cannot afford to build their own houses. It is generally regarded as ideal for those who are seeking better job opportunities.

The project is home to more than 800 people and is a mixture of bachelor, one, and two bedroom units.

The Fleur Views is home to those earning between R3 500 and R7 500 a month. During construction the project created approximately 89 jobs.

Women subcontractors were used and the tenants moved into the residential units in April last year.

The project was driven by national department of human settlements, the Gauteng government and the City of Johannesburg. Other partners included the Social Housing Regulatory Authority and Madulammoho Housing Association.

Best community residential unit
Winner: Free State — Masimong community residential project in Welkom
The government introduced the community residential unit programme to facilitate the provision of stable rental tenure for lower income people.

This forms part of its efforts to restore people's dignity, especially those living in squalid conditions.

The programme was rolled out across South Africa to ensure social integration and provide for decent quality of living.

The Masimong community residential project in Welkom in the Free State received the awards for the best community residential units at this year's Govan Mbeki Awards.

"We will look after this project. This is our project and we should be proud of it," said Free State MEC for Human Settlements Sarah Mlamleli.

Launched in June last year, the R250-million project consists of 461 units allocated to the mine workers and community members of Masimong.

The units are divided into bachelors, one, two, and three bedroom units, with rental ranging from R500 to R1 200 a month.

To ensure a vibrant community, the project has a recreational centre, banks, church, crèche, media centre, paraplegic workshop and a shopping centre. More than 3 000 jobs were created during the development of this project.

Best finance-linked individual subsidy project
Winner: Eastern Cape — Walmer Link Project
The revised financed linked individual subsidy project (FLISP) was announced by President Jacob Zuma in his state of the nation address last year.

It aims to assist people who need financial aid in buying or building their homes.

One of the objectives of the government's housing programme is to provide assistance to households who are unable to independently access mortgage finance to acquire a residential property.

These are people who either earn too little to qualify for mortgage finance or their monthly income exceeds the limit applicable to the government's "free basic house" (RDP) housing subsidy scheme.

The Walmer Link project in Port Elizabeth was named as the best FLISP for 2013 at the recent Govan Mbeki awards.

It is an accredited housing project aimed at providing affordable homes using the FLISP of the department of human settlements as well as home loan finance from banks for qualifying beneficiaries to own a home.

Eastern Cape MEC for Human Settlements, Safety and Liaison Helen Sauls-August praised her team and the developer for a job well done and emphasised the quality of houses that were built in the province.

Best woman contractor
Winner: Lebo Aaron L&R Welding & Tools Suppliers
Having completed several housing projects for the department of human settlements, Lebo Aaron and her company L&R Welding & Tools Suppliers took the crown of the best woman contractor award at the Govan Mbeki Awards 2013.

She founded the company in 2003 and lists innovation, quality and attention to detail as some of the elements that have been the secret of her success.

"Being a woman in a male-dominated sector is a challenge. Most of our male counterparts still think they are better than us.

This award will change the mindset of many and make them realise that women can also deliver the best quality houses in the country", she said at the awards ceremony.

L&R Welding & Tools Suppliers also provides building, construction and tool supplies services to the market, including industrial and corporate clients, parastatals and government departments.

Best people's housing project
Winner: North West — Tlhabangani Trade Enterprise
The people's housing project (PHP) is one of the department of human settlements' delivery programmes where beneficiaries are actively involved in the decision-making over the housing process and products, and make a contribution towards the building of their own homes.

The programme is aimed at assisting government to deliver better human settlement outcomes based on community contribution, partnerships, and leveraging additional resources.

This will be achieved by developing a culture of savings, skills transfer, and community empowerment and social cohesion.

Tlhabangani Trade Enterprise of the North West won the award for the best people's housing project. Its project started off as a pilot in November 2011 and the company has built 710 housing units in the Ditsobotla local municipality to date.

"Getting the national award is the best thing that has ever happened to our company and we are proud of what we have achieved in creating employment to the youth irrespective of age and gender," said Oupa Macala, chief executive of Tlhabangani Trade Enterprise, at the awards evening.

He said that the company wanted to plough back into the community by building sustainable townships, developing partnerships with stakeholders and empowering the communities through the PHP programme.

Tlhabangani Trade Enterprise specialises in PHP and has more than 15 years' experience in working with the government sector.

It is also registered with the National Home Builders Registration Council.

Best priority housing project
Winner: Mpumalanga — Klarinet housing project in Witbank
As part of its new approach for new settlements, the department of human settlements included in its policy objectives that newly created townships should have all amenities, including clinics, churches, shopping facilities and adequate transport.

This award category recognises both provincial departments and municipalities for excellent implementation of special projects.

These projects are usually decided on by the president, Cabinet, minister of human settlements, or the director general of the department of human settlements with a view to speed up development in selected areas, but are implemented by local municipalities.

The Klarinet housing project in Witbank has been chosen as an example of the hard work being done around the country to ensure South Africans lived in integrated, properly planned and sustainable communities.

The Klarinet project includes 11 669 mixed housing units. It aims to deliver affordable, subsidised, and bonded housing units as part of the bid to improve people's lives.

The project seeks to improve the lives of people currently living in nearby informal settlements such as Spring Valley and Coronation in the eMalahleni municipality.

Best non-subsidy market
Winner: Northern Cape — Postdene 720 Construction Company
The challenge of building on the dolomite ground in a mining area did not deter Postdene 720 Construction Company from building quality houses in Postmasburg in the Northern Cape.

Its determination to improve the lives for the people of the area saw it being recognised as the best contractor in the non-subsidy market at the recent Govan Mbeki Awards 2013.

Despite the high cost of building materials, the mining company has built approximately 720 units with 300 still under construction.

"We must build houses which people are proud to call their homes. Winning the award is a motivation and an honour to us," said Renita Soodeyal, the executive manager for housing at the Northern Cape department of housing and local government.

The project consists of bachelor, two and three bedroom units. Tenants can also opt buy the houses. The development targets working class people, mostly those employed at mines who can afford to rent or buy the units.

Best metropolitan municipality
Winner: eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality
eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality is leading the way in terms of service delivery among the country's eight metros.

The metro includes the cities of Durban and Pinetown, and areas like Amanzimtomti and Umhlanga as well as townships like Umlazi, Clermont, Chatsworth and Verulam.

The municipality spans an area of approximately 2 297km2 and is home to some 3.5-million people. It consists of a diverse society which faces various social, economic, and environmental challenges.

As a result, the municipality strives to address the needs of an ever increasing population, a problem that is faced by all of South Africa's major cities.

A new settlement, Cornubia, is being built in the eThekwini area and will provide at least 50 000 housing units. It forms part of the municipality's efforts to reduce the country's housing backlog and ensuring that all citizens have access to adequate housing opportunities.

Despite the challenges faced by the municipality in terms of service delivery, the eThekwini municipality's 2030 vision seeks to provide a harmonious living environment and high quality of life with equal opportunities for all citizens.

The municipality is prioritising informal settlements and involving communities in planning processes. It also wants to upgrade local single-sex hostels into family units.

Best youth contractor
Winner: Retlaphela Construction Primary Cooperation
The Retlaphela Construction Primary Cooperation won the best youth contractor category. The award marked the culmination of a five-year effort by Ntaoleng Mofokeng to build a successful company that would change the lives of people in her community.

Mofokeng was inspired by her father, Mosenye, who worked as a brick layer in Petsana township in Reitz for 15 years. Her father urged her to establish a construction company in 2008.

"I am very happy that we won this award. I must say it has not been easy. We had to hitchhike from Reitz to Bloemfontein, about 250km away, to register our company on the different supplier databases of government departments," said Mofokeng at the awards evening.

Retlaphela won the award for houses built in the Nketoane Municipality in the Free State.

As part of its commitment to youth empowerment, the department of human settlements runs an annual programme in which young people build houses.

Called the Youth Build, it takes place in June and has, to date, contributed 1 500 housing units in the country.