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The history and future of Riemvasmaak / Rosevalley

Oudtshoorn, 28 March 2017 – In 2016 Oudtshoorn Municipality, after installing Civil Services, started building units, which consists of 67 single units, 46 semi-attached units and 222 double storey duplex units in Riemvasmaak/Rosevalley. This is the first semi-attached and double storey duplex units in Oudtshoorn. Done with Government subsidies, Oudtshoorn Municipality will be handing over these houses by April 2017.

The Rosevalley Project, a UISP (Upgrading of Informal Settlement Project) started when residents, who stayed in overcrowded conditions and in backyards, occupied land owned by Oudtshoorn Municipality in 2010.  Oudtshoorn Municipality assisted them afterwards with basic infrastructure by means of providing access to water and sanitation as well as refuse removal. The name of the area initially called Riemvasmaak later changed to Rosevalley as the Informal Settlement transformed into formality.

On 30 September 2013, the approval for a UISP was given by Provincial Government Department of Human Settlement for the upgrade of the Informal Settlement in Phase 1 to 3 for a total of 875 units. Almost a year after, on 26 September 2014 the total units were increased from 875 to 883 units. Approval was given by Department of Human Settlement on 19 December 2013 to assist 300 families with temporary accommodation.  These families then lived on the site whilst their houses were completed.

The Project kicked off with the installation of the services on site for the first Phase in the Rosevalley Project in October 2013. Asla was appointed as contractor for the entire project. It initially started very slowly due to labour disputes and strikes.

The first units were handed over in February 2015 and again the progress was slowed down by unforeseen circumstances. In May 2015 all issues and problems were resolved and handover of units were done more frequently by the municipality’s Human Settlements and Planning Departments. A lot of problems such as theft, vandalising of structures and political changes, hindered the project to run smoothly, which caused stop / start situations.

Eventually the first Phase was completed on 30 October 2015 where all 299 beneficiaries got permanent housing units. In November 2015 the total number of units was increased again from 883 to 966 to benefit more people. After the handover process of Phase 1, Oudtshoorn Municipality applied for a nomination in the Govan Mbeki Awards for Phase 1 of The UISP Rosevalley. This brought excitement when the municipality was announced as runner- up in the Category of Informal Settlement Upgrade Programme at a Gala Function in Cape Town in September 2016.

Civil Services started in February 2016 for 335 units in Phase 2, which consists of 67 single units, 46 semi-attached units and 222 double storey duplex units. Underground services were completed in October 2016 and Asla Construction started with the top structures in January 2017. The handover for the first houses in Rosevalley Phase 2 is expected to be done April 2017.

Construction of the remaining 332 housing units will commence in Phase 3 after the completion of Phase 2 top structures. The completion of all three phases is expected to be in December 2018.