"Unimaginable", "Unbelievable", "Magnificent" are some of the terms used by people in the know and highly qualified professional builders to describe the housing village that evolved from rubble and a dump site at Alexandra.
Pleasing and aesthetic, the houses are fire resistant with solar panels, ceilings and tile floors supported by a communal kitchen complex and an ablution block with hot showers and flushing toilets. The complex is equipped with a park, lawn and well-spaced, paved brick driveways to allow easy access for emergency vehicles. Add to that fencing and 24 hour security. What could be more fitting to honour Nelson Mandela as part of Mandela Day and in celebration of his 95th birthday.
Incorporating the elements of dignity, self respect and skills transfer local people were employed both in the building of the 69 house village and in the community garden established for sustainability.
It is our hope that the housing village idea will be pursued by government and any interested in improving the living conditions of the masses within our nation. Those skilled individuals can modify our prototype as we ourselves have so done. Commencing with a Zozo house in response to the Duduza Tornado disaster in 2011 we substantially improved with the development of the houses in Khayelitsha following the New Year's Day fire disaster earlier this year. But the development in Alex is absolutely unique and has attracted visitors from diverse fields who have marveled at the development of the housing village, the concept and the process of transformation in the region. Be your own judge. Better still visit the site personally.
We acknowledge the City of Johannesburg, Provincial Government, Disaster Management, Agriculture, the various departments and all those who made this project a reality. The land, grading services, removal of rubble and many related facilities were provided collectively by these tiers of government.
A special thanks to our sponsors including Vodacom, Absa, Post Office, Spectron, Zulekha Mayat Charity Trust and Air Liquid.
The Housing Village will officially be opened by the Minister of Human Settlements, Ms Connie September, on Friday, 11 October 2013, at 11am.