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The year began on a high note for residents of Marikana when Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu visited the community to hand over houses on 6 January 2016. She was accompanied by Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo and acting North West MEC for Local Government and Human Settlements Wendy Nelson.

Among the first-time recipients of brand-new furnished homes were residents Dorah Diremela (75) and Piet Tlou (67), who were delighted with their new houses. The project forms part of the government’s programme to revitalise 22 mining towns in distress.

North West province had approached the Agency to assist with the development of the greater Marikana precinct. The HDA acquired the land in terms of its successful land assembly programme for integrated mixed-income development, and the Marikana housing project is set to yield a total of 2 600 units homes over time. The HDA aims to provide decent accommodation for mine workers, and a better quality of life for communities in the area.

So far, integrated human settlement programmes which includes housing units, rental stock and breaking new ground (BNG) houses have been completed. The project will also cater for Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme and bonded houses. It spans more than 300 ha of land, including 50 ha donated by Lonmin to the Rustenburg Municipality at the end of 2013, facilitated by the HDA, which also acquired the rest of the land from private land owners which will contribute mainly to the housing backlog in Marikana and upgrading of informal Settlements and Mining Towns Programmes.

“We are adamant that the development will bring relief to the people of Marikana. The Agency is doing its best to meet both the needs and demands in the area,” said Project Manager, Tumisi Kgomo