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Western Cape NCOP delegation welcomes new app to fast-track service delivery

The Western Cape Province’s permanent delegates to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) was impressed by a new app, introduced to ease service delivery challenges in the Western Cape.

The leader of the delegation, Ms Cathlene Labuschagne, said: “We commend this innovative endeavour, as it will deal with mounting challenges associated with housing service delivery, rather than be reactive to the problem.”

During a ministerial briefing from the Western Cape Department of Human Settlement, the delegation heard that the aim is to eradicate the title deeds backlog within two years. For new projects, title deeds will be delivered on the day of occupation.

The delegation also heard a lack of technical capacity in both planning and project implementation in municipalities is stifling housing delivery in rural areas. To ameliorate the problem, services and professional resource teams are shared to improve capacity in municipalities throughout the province.

The delegation is in the province this week as part of the NCOP’s annual Provincial Week programme. It was briefed yesterday by provincial government departments, including human settlements. The highlight of the day was the delegation’s visit to the Conradie integrated housing development project in Pinelands, which is one of the Western Cape Government’s flagship integrated human settlement programmes.

Ms Labuschagne was impressed by the architect’s integrated approach to developing mixed use and mixed income housing. “I am utterly impressed. This development has a well thought out plan that integrates parks, medical centres, sports facilities, retails and schools seamlessly.”

She hailed its vision for future social housing developments and said it could be a model for similar development in the future. “Their design and planning sought to restore the dignity of many families who will now live in a safe-gated community. This project lives up to its motto: Live. Connect. Inspire. It’s set to achieve that.”

Ms Labuschagne said the greatest challenge is that most projects take place in metropolitan areas, rather than in rural areas, where such developments are most needed. This needs to be addressed urgently.

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