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Greater Oudtshoorn awarded the best Upgraded Informal Settlements Programme

Oudtshoorn, 14 August 2017 – The Oudtshoorn Municipal Human Settlements Department has been granted the Best Upgraded Informal Settlements Programme (UISP) award in the Western Cape 2017 Govern Mbeki Awards held at the Lord Charles Hotel on Friday evening, 11 August 2017.

The announcement was made by the Provincial Human Settlements Minister, Bonginkosi Madikizela during the department’s prestigious annual event which seeks to celebrate and honour municipalities, contractors, developers and other stakeholders in the human settlements delivery chain.

Oudtshoorn which has been conferred the UISP award based on its Rosevalley project, shares this award with Stellenbosch Municipality. Oudtshoorn was in 2016 granted the runner-up position for the same category in these awards. This year’s runner-up for the UISP category is the Ethembeni Project in Knysna.

The Executive Mayor, Cllr. Colan Sylvester cheered the Municipal Human Settlements Department for this achievement. “We applaud our human settlements team for claiming this award for the greater Oudtshoorn.”

“This is a huge stride towards ensuring that our objective of creating sustainable integrated human settlements and safer neighborhoods where communities can prosper, will soon realize,” Mayor Sylvester said. 

The delighted Ms. Shehaam Sims, acting manager of Oudtshoorn Municipal Human Settlements said: “We believe the reason that we received such an honour was because the informal settlement upgrade had a number of firsts for the greater Oudtshoorn.”

“Firstly, is densification; where the property sizes averages are 180m² compared to 200m², allowing more families to be accommodated.  This lent itself to the first double story & single story semi-attached to be built.”

“Secondly, was underground Electrification rather than overhead,” she added.

The project started in January 2016 with the underground services of 335 opportunities.  The actual top structures have progressed well with over 100 houses already handed over.  All 335 houses are expected to be handed over by mid-October this year.

Talking about awarding criteria, Sims said that part of the criteria included looking at the accuracy and quality of workmanship of the contractor.  These are being monitored carefully by both local government and provincial government building inspectors.

The Municipal Manager, Mr. Allan Paulse thanked human settlements department, municipal staff as well as the cooperation of the community of the greater Oudtshoorn and the contractors.

In the Photo (FLTR): Cllr. Johan Fourie (Technical Services), Mr. Allan Paulse (Municipal Manager), Shehaam Sims (Acting Mananger: Human Settlements Department) and Cllr. Colan Sylvester (Executive Mayor).