district six, phase three

In 1994, after the fall of Apartheid, the South African Government pledged to give the District Six land back to those who were dispossessed of their homes and their community. The (now) Cape Peninsula University of Technology subsequently donated some of its vacant land to the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform that had extensive plans in place to redevelop and reinvent District Six for the land claimants. The aim of the project was to repair the damage done by the forced removals and to recover the lost landscape.

During the past five years, development of Phase 1 and 2 has taken place, and has been managed by the District Six Beneficiary Trust.

Phase 3 was then initiated and run by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. The aim of Phase 3 was to develop 46 terraced houses and 82 apartments, restoring the typical characteristics of the original District Six. The designs were closely coordinated with the District Six Reference Group, a representative body of the claimant community.

Delta BEC was appointed as the principal consultant and project manager for Phase 3 of the redevelopment of District Six. The main responsibility of this appointment was to manage and coordinate the different disciplines, including architects, engineers, and quantity surveyors, and to act as principal agent with respect to the construction contract. Stakeholder management and coordination between the District Six Reference Group, national government, provincial government, and local government were further significant responsibilities of Delta BEC.

hangberg residential units

The City of Cape Town initiated a housing development in Hout Bay as part of the Community Residential Units (CRU) Programme. The CRU Programme targets low-income people and households earning between R800 and R3 500 a month but who are unable to afford private rental or social housing.

Seventy-two units were constructed on Erf 8176 in Hout Bay. Most of the units comprise two bedrooms (40 m2), but there are a select few one-bedroom units. Special needs units for the disabled have been accommodated specifically on the ground floor and with wheelchair access.

Delta BEC was appointed to provide professional engineering and design services for the Hangberg CRU development. The team was made up of civil, structural and electrical engineers as well as quantity surveyors, town planners, and architects.

The main requirements from a design point of view included creating a residential development that enables and creates a sense of neighbourhood and community.

A limited variation in accommodation types was created to generate a sense of unity and interest. The outdoor spaces were carefully designed to avoid social problems that typically haunt neglected and unused areas. Special consideration was given to the youth and toddlers of the development whose play areas were designed to be convenient and safe, and easily visible. Safe pedestrian routes away from vehicles were created, and the road layout discourages fast moving traffic and traffic noise.