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Among the many socio-economic challenges faced by South Africa, the backlog in the provision of affordable housing for lower-income earners is particularly worrying. While estimates about the size of the backlog vary, it’s likely that more than two million homes are needed nationally, half a million of which are within the Western Cape, and more than 300,000 in the City of Cape Town.

Government is challenged to meet the need for affordable housing delivery, which means that private property developers will increasingly need to step into the breach to deliver affordable housing projects.

One such developer, the Amdec Group, recently demonstrated its commitment towards helping to alleviate the shortage of affordable housing in the province by announcing the development of a R500m affordable housing estate in Ottery, Cape Town.

Golden Grove Estate will be developed on an 11ha site formerly known as Golden Grove Poultry Farm, situated on the corner of De Wet Road and Elm Street in Ottery. It will offer 1,000 affordable residential apartments – one-bed units of 24m2, two-bed units of 36m2, and three-bed units of 54m2 – on a rental basis.

They are targeted at households with an employment history and a joint household income not exceeding R22,000 per month. The rental cost will not exceed 30% of the tenants’ household income.

Golden Grove Estate will include a convenience retail centre and onsite laundry; communal gardens and a children’s playground; crèche, day care and after-care or supervised homework facilities; a furniture workshop so that residents can build or assemble their own flat-pack furniture on site; five-a-side soccer fields and basketball courts, and a communal recreational clubhouse for all the residents.

“We’re acutely aware of the need for affordable housing, so we’re delighted that our recent planning application in respect of Golden Grove Estate was approved. We intend launching this scheme to market within the next month or two, and being in the ground before the end of the year,” said Amdec Group CEO James Wilson, at a sod-turning ceremony attended by the Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Alderman Dan Plato, earlier this month.

“As the demand for housing in South African continues to grow, and our capacity to deliver housing is simply not able to meet that demand, I’m pleased to see the private sector playing their part and developing attractive affordable housing sites that also include a wide variety of attractive recreational spaces. I look forward to seeing the first of the 1,000 families move into their new homes soon,” Plato says.

The Amdec Group isn’t new to the affordable housing sector. In 2007, it acquired 13 vacant office buildings in Doornfontein in Joburg, and redeveloped them to create an innovative and ground-breaking mixed-use precinct that provided affordable homes for 1,500 young families (or approximately 6,000 people).

Wilson confirms that the Amdec Group will utilise its considerable skill and expertise acquired over 31 years in business to deliver an affordable housing estate that truly provides for the needs of the community.

“Golden Grove Estate is exceptionally well-located within an established suburb, surrounded by residential homes and close to shops, schools and sports facilities, and transport nodes, making it easy to access on foot or via public and private transport. Golden Grove will also deliver exceptional safety and security, convenience, amenities, and energy efficiency, significantly enhancing the lives of those who live there,” he says.

“As a proudly South African company, the Amdec Group is deeply committed to redressing the injustices of the past. To this end, we’ve established a fully-fledged Affordable Housing division which is going to be responsible for building, owning, operating, and managing our affordable housing stock in perpetuity to ensure that housing is made available to those who need it most,” says Wilson.

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