During the recent Govan Mbeki Human Settlements Awards ceremony held in Somerset West on Friday, August 11 the Knysna municipality was announced as joint winners (together with the City of Cape Town) of the Govan Mbeki Human Settlements Award – People’s Housing Project category. They further were announced as runner-up in the Upgrade of Informal Settlements category for its Dam-se-Bos, Vision 2002 and Ethembeni, UISP projects.
This is the sixth time that the Knysna Municipality receives this prestigious acknowledgement since the launch of the Govan Mbeki Human Settlements Awards in 2008.
The Knysna Municipal Vision 2002 aims to upgrade and provide the necessary basic infrastructure civil services and 165 low income houses. Vision 2002 further aims to upgrade ten existing informal settlements situated within Knysna’s Northern areas.
The Western Cape Provincial Department of Human Settlements are funding the Dam-se-Bos and Ethembeni projects, valued at R 33,8 million. To date this project has provided access to basic services to 175 sites, and homes to 165 families.
Knysna executive mayor, Eleanore Bouw-Spies expressed her appreciation about winning the award and said, “It is a great honour to receive this prestigious award once again. Winning this is another testimony that our Integrated Human Settlements team, and its leadership Housing Manager, Mawethu Penxa dedication to excellence has to be applauded.
“As we have previously emphasised, our focus as Council is not merely about providing housing, but also the restoration of dignity and building integrated communities,” she said.
Municipal Manager, Kam Chetty expressed the municipality’s commitment towards the job opportunities created through this project. “Already approximately 95 job opportunities have been created through this housing project. Sixteen local contractors have been appointed for the Dam-se-Bos and Ethembeni projects during the 2016/17 financial year.”
The Western Cape Provincial Department of Human Settlements opened the application phase of the Provincial Govan Mbeki Awards (GMA) 2017 in June 2017. As part of the judging procedure, delegates from provincial offices visited the Dam-se-Bos South project and Ethembeni sites on July 18.
The annual Govan Mbeki awards honour those who have performed best in the Integrated Human Settlements sector of local government. The awards further aims to promote excellence, best practices and instill healthy competition among all Departments of Human Settlements across all Provinces and Municipalities nationwide.
The awards were named after the late Govan Mbeki in 2006 in recognition of the role he played and vision he had for preserving human dignity and provision of integrated human settlements for all South Africans.
Knysna Executive Mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies, Actress, Nobuhle Mahlasela and Integrated Human Settlements Manager, Mawethu Penxa at the Govan Mbeki Human Settlements Awards ceremony held in Somerset West on Friday, August 11