10 July 2014 - ‘20 Years of Freedom’ was the theme of the recent Western Cape Government’s Govan Mbeki Awards gala function held in May this year.
Named as a tribute to the late Govan Mbeki and the important role he played in nation building, the awards aim to promote a culture of excellence among all stakeholders involved in delivering quality human settlements through stimulating healthy competition among municipalities and provinces. The nationally driven programme also recognizes the contributions by all role players in the housing value chain, such as building contractors, consultancy services and building material suppliers.
Global engineering management and specialist technical service company, Aurecon, was proud to see two of its clients receive prestigious provincial awards in the Best Informal Settlements Upgrading Project (UISP) category. The winning project was the George Municipality’s Thembalethu Upgrading of Informal Settlements Project (UISP), closely followed in second position by the Wolwedans Informal Settlements development project undertaken by the Mossel Bay Municipality.
This is seven-year programme of George Municipality; the scope of the Thembalethu project covers the incremental development of 4 350 formal residential sites with full, permanent municipal services and eventually top structures on 10 land parcels, for identified households from the current 22 informal settlement areas. Aurecon is as Implementing Agent responsible for all the multi-disciplinary professional services required for the incremental upgrading and extension of the required bulk and connection services infrastructure as well as the development of the fully serviced sites and eventually the construction of the top structures for qualifying beneficiaries. The remit also includes the facilitation of all community based participatory planning engagement as well as the management of the relocation processes with minimal inconvenience to the beneficiary households.
Wolwedans Human Settlements Development Project
Mossel Bay Municipality was challenged by the lack of suitable housing development sites available to address the dire living conditions of informal settlements in the Great Brak River area. The innovative solution arrived at by the project team was to integrate the informal settlements with the formal Wolwedans and adjacent Green Haven areas through a combination of incremental in situ upgrading and relocation of the households to newly developed ‘greenfield’ sites representing a total development of 675 housing opportunities. The steep slopes on some of the sites required skilled engineering solutions for house foundations and infrastructure layout. Aurecon’s role in this success story was that of Project Manager and consulting engineer (including civil and structural).
This project was in 2013 also the recipient of a Special Merit Award from the Southern African Housing Foundation “in recognition of the project’s holistic and integrated upgrading of the informal settlements, the provision of security of tenure, a healthy and secure living environment and community empowerment through the promotion of social and economic integration” (judges).
“The success of these challenging human settlement upliftment projects reflects the impressive commitment and determination of the municipalities involved,” comments Aurecon’s Francois Theron, Project Leader, Land Development Services. “At the Awards ceremony, both clients expressed their deep appreciation for the sustained, quality services rendered by Aurecon.”