Dignified Housing Triumph: Western Cape’s Resilient Infrastructure Progress

  • Ebenhaeser Housing Project Triumph: Western Cape leaders celebrate progress in Bitou with bricklaying event, marking housing milestone for New Horizons community.
  • Dignity Through Infrastructure: Premier Winde emphasizes homes as assets, fostering worth and legacy, applauds project's efficiency, plans for early handovers.
  • Bloukrans Road Empowerment: MEC Simmers inaugurates R110 million Bitou project, highlights job creation, local enterprise boost, and government's commitment to community growth.

A landmark day dawned on Monday, August 28, as the Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, and MEC of Infrastructure, Tertuis Simmers, joined forces with local dignitaries to mark the remarkable strides made in the realm of infrastructure delivery in Bitou. Amid a chorus of optimism and gratitude, the community celebrated a historic milestone, one that echoes progress, compassion, and the promise of a brighter future.

The event of the day was the bricklaying ceremony that took place at the heart of the Ebenhaeser housing project in Plettenberg Bay’s New Horizons community. The ceremony was graced by Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, MEC Tertuis Simmers, the esteemed Executive Mayor Dave Swart, and the revered Ward Councillor Claude Terblanche.

Ebenhaeser Housing Project: Building Dreams, Brick by Brick

In a stirring display of unity and progress, the bricklaying ceremony marked a significant juncture in the Ebenhaeser housing project’s journey. The project, aimed at alleviating a decades-long wait for housing opportunities, ignited hope in the New Horizons community, which was founded in the late 1970s. The commencement of Phase 1 construction in March this year was met with a sense of purpose and anticipation, as it signifies the beginning of a solution long overdue.

Projected to reach completion by April 2024, Phase 1 holds the promise of delivering a total of 1642 housing opportunities—a testament to meticulous planning and an unwavering commitment to community upliftment. The housing opportunities will be realized through a multi-phased implementation process, ensuring a comprehensive and sustainable approach to addressing housing needs.

Premier Alan Winde spoke passionately about the project’s role in the province’s infrastructure development strategy, describing it as an endeavor that shapes a resilient province. “Our focus is not only on erecting buildings but on nurturing sustainable communities,” Premier Winde proclaimed. He eloquently connected housing with dignity, asserting, “These houses are more than just bricks and mortar; they are embodiments of dignity and pride.”

Premier Winde’s address extended beyond the physical structures. He emphasized the transformative power of a stable roof over one’s head, underlining how a safe and comfortable home can ignite a sense of worth and belonging. “With a roof over your head, one can find their worth. I urge the beneficiaries to take pride in their homes and recognize them as assets that contribute to their families’ and community’s legacy,” he continued.

Ahead of Schedule: Anticipating Joyous Moments

The ceremony carried an air of triumph not only due to its symbolic importance but also because of the news shared by the department. The Ebenhaeser housing project has been progressing ahead of schedule, signaling efficient management and coordination. In a delightful surprise for the community, the first batch of completed homes is expected to be handed over even before the upcoming Christmas festivities—a gesture that will undoubtedly infuse the season with unprecedented joy and hope.

Ward Councillor Claude Terblanche took the stage to express the community’s heartfelt gratitude. “I would like to thank Minister Simmers for upholding his commitment despite the challenges we faced in structuring and executing this project. On behalf of the New Horizons community, we extend our heartfelt appreciation for providing us with over 1600 housing opportunities,” he conveyed with genuine emotion.

The Power of Transparent Partnerships and Public Service

MEC Tertuis Simmers highlighted a pivotal aspect that fueled the success of the project: transparent partnerships and a strong commitment to public service. In an environment characterized by complexities and dynamics, effective collaboration between various levels of government and the New Horizons community, along with its leadership, paved the way for meticulous project design and planning. This approach ensured that the project’s contours aligned closely with the community’s unique needs.

MEC Simmers underscored the significance of this project’s outcome, focusing on its potential to usher in a new era of dignity for the community. “We encountered a myriad of challenges in setting up and delivering this project. Nevertheless, by fostering a transparent and effective partnership between government spheres and the New Horizons community, we were able to craft a project that genuinely serves this community’s aspirations,” he remarked.

With palpable enthusiasm, MEC Simmers looked forward to the approaching moment when the keys to the first set of houses would be handed over, marking the beginning of a chapter brimming with dignity and hope for the community.

Bloukrans Road Project: Connecting Communities, Empowering Enterprises

In addition to the Ebenhaeser housing project, MEC Simmers presided over the ribbon-cutting ceremony that concluded the Bloukrans Road project in Bitou Municipality. The R110 million project, which began construction in July 2021 and triumphantly cleared its site by the end of June 2023, represents a significant stride toward accessibility and economic empowerment.

The Bloukrans Road project not only enhanced connectivity but also had a profound impact on the local economy. Over the project’s duration, it generated 120 job opportunities and opened doors for 16 local enterprises and emerging contractors. MEC Simmers lauded the government’s commitment to community development through this project, which is aptly aligned with the ethos of being a government “For You.”

Simmers applauded the endeavor’s dedication to enterprise development, stating, “Through this project, we’ve showcased our commitment to the community and businesses of Bitou. We allocated R26 million to enterprise development within the project, facilitating swifter transportation of goods and products to the market.”

Commitment to Dignity and Progress

The simultaneous completion and progress of these monumental projects underscore the Western Cape Government’s unwavering commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all its citizens. With infrastructure initiatives that foster resilient communities, offer dignified housing, and empower local enterprises, the government is scripting a narrative of progress, compassion, and inclusivity.



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