The City of Joburg (COJ) has bagged a coveted global award for a low-cost housing project.
Joburg city in a partnership with affordable-housing developer Calgro M3 and the Standard Bank of South Africa won a United Nations accolade for Sustainable City and Human Settlements Award.
The award recognized the South Hills development as a global green model community for its excellent demonstration in developing sustainable cities and human settlements as well as the implementation of sustainable development goals.
The award was presented during UN’s 14th annual session of the Global Forum on Human Settlements in Ethiopia recently.
The project will yield a total of 5,845 units and so far, about 1,410 have been completed. The project has various types of residential units that target specific economic target markets.
Over 90 percent of South Hill units fall within the Financial Sector Charter description of affordable housing.
“We believe that affordable housing shouldn’t be just about providing shelter. It also has to enhance the quality of life, provide opportunities and support dignity,” said Wikus Lategan, the chief executive officer of Calgro M3.
Lategan noted that for a housing project to be life-changing, the initiative has to provide individuals or families privileges that have for a long time been left for the wealthy homeowners.
“We are also endeavoring to do as much as possible to make the running cost of the houses as affordable possible for residents, with less water and electricity use,” the Calgro M3 CEO said.
Worthy to mention, the project in its design is implementing various green initiatives and energy-saving technologies for both owners and tenants by “implementing gas, solar and solar farming, heat pumps, induction geyser, energy-saving lights and prepaid meters for water and electricity.”
South Africa is in dire need of a low-income housing crisis with the current backlog estimated at over 3 million units.
South Africa is known to have one of the most ambitious public housing programs in the world. More than three million public housing units have been delivered since 1994. Between 2007 and 2010 SA’s housing department produced 16,000 subsidized housing units yearly.
Lately, however, there has been a slow down as the delivery of subsidized housing units has proven not to be impressive.
Featured Image Courtesy: lafargeholcim