uMngeni Municipality wins two prestigious Govan Mbeki Awards

uMngeni Municipality is amongst the municipalities that will represent KwaZulu-Natal in the national Govan Mbeki Awards later this year.

The municipality came first in the province scooping awards in the Farm Residence Category and the Integrated Residential Development Programme Category for Fordoun staff housing and Hilton College Phase 3 housing projects respectively during the awards ceremony held at the ICC in Durban on Thursday last week.

Both housing projects are public private partnership initiatives, with the Municipality, Department of Human Settlements in KwaZulu-Natal, land owner Jon Bates for the Fordoun staff housing project and the Hiltonian Society for the Hilton College Phase 3.

Eighteen units were completed in the Fordoun housing project, while to date 111 housing units have been completed in three phases of the Hilton College housing project, where Phase 3 delivered 27 units. The latter is no stranger to the Govan Mbeki awards having had won a prestigious award for innovation in the 2012/2013 financial year. Both housing projects will fly the flag of KwaZulu-Natal in the national Govan Mbeki awards to be held in Durban in November.

The purpose of the Govan Mbeki Awards is to promote and inculcate a culture of excellence within the Human Settlement sector in the delivery of quality human settlements and dignity to all South Africans. It also aims to encourage all stakeholders in the sector to respond systematically and combat the entrenchment of spatial patterns that exacerbate social inequality and economic inefficiency.

The awards also promote best practices while simultaneously motivating and honouring role players in the human settlement value chain. These include developers, building contractors, community-based organisations and professional associations of consulting engineers and quantity surveyors.

Newly inaugurated uMngeni Municipality Mayor, Sizwe Sokhela, who collected the awards on behalf of the municipality together with Ward 9 and Ward 11 Councillors, Thulani Mthalane and Mzomuhle Ndlovu, said that the awards were a pat on the back for the municipality and its partners in their commitment to provide houses for the previously disadvantaged individuals in uMngeni.

“We are proud that we have been recognized through the awards. These housing projects signal that if we pull together as government and the private sector, we can achieve lasting development,” said Sokhela.

“I would like to commend the previous Council for the work they have done and as the new Council, the provision of houses remains high on our agenda and we will continue to think outside the box to strive and provide houses for our communities,” added Sokhela.

Iain McMillan, Director of Development at Hilton College, who has been involved in the Hilton College housing project since its inception, commented on the satisfaction of having been involved in a public/private partnership which had resulted in the provision of quality homes to which the beneficiaries had title. “Our project provides concrete evidence of the benefits of home ownership, and it has been most rewarding to The Hiltonian Society to witness the excitement with which our people have embraced their new homes. We look forward to the completion of the final phase in this project.”

Jon Bates of Fordoun Development Company commented as said that the housing project was the first phase of an expansion of Fordoun Hotel and farm into a much larger Agri Tourism venture.

“The overall project include self-catering villas and a conference and events centre, along with sustainable, organic vegetable, beef, sheep and chicken operations. Fordoun has a social and environmental focus as an integral part of its business philosophy. The housing development for 18 families who have long standing links to Fordoun is the most significant aspect of this philosophy. The pride that these families have for their homes, is evident in the gardens and boundary walls and gates that have been established by the new title holders. Most pleasing is the fact that each household practices recycling of waste (collected by uMngeni Municipality on Saturdays). As a result of the Fordoun Housing development there is a tangible sense of community and security,” added Bates.

Implementing agent Jannie Cronje from Umsungunli Project Management said that it was pleasure to work on both projects from inception to completion and both communities were extremely satisfied with the end product.

“The Fordoun project delivered houses ranging from 52 – 76m2 and Hilton College produced 48m2 houses, both in excess of government requirement of 40m2 and to a higher finishing specification. Umsunguli Project Management implemented both projects working closely with the uMngeni Municipality, Human Settlements and private entities, who made substantial financial contributions over and above government’s subsidy allowance. I believe that this type of public/private partnership is the future for housing developments in South Africa,” added Cronje.

For more information please contact Thando Mgaga, Communications Manager on 033 239 9284 or 073 541 2267

Caption: From left to right Lance Ridl from Ridl Construction who built the houses, Jon Bates from Fordoun Development Company, Human Settlements MEC in KwaZulu-Natal Ravi Pillay, uMngeni Municipality Mayor, Sizwe Sokhela, Councillor Thulani Mthalane, Councillor Mzomuhle Ndlovu and Jannie Cronje from UPM.