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City of Cape Town’s CRU Refurbishment Programme, South Africa

The City of Cape Town’s Community Residential Units Refurbishment Programme, which began in 2009, was initiated to address the maintenance of the City’s 43 500 rental properties for families earning between R800 and R3 500 per month. This particular project demanded a high level of innovation, but at a cost that ensured the project was able to make the widest impact possible within a tight budget.

Aurecon is currently part of a team appointed to project manage the rollout of the refurbishment in these areas.

The first phase of targeted Council houses Aurecon is addressing is flats in The Range, Heideveld, Hanover Park, Kewtown and Ottery.

Of the 3 580 units allocated to Aurecon for upgrade, 2 550 units have already been successfully completed.

Although work is carried out in such a way as to cause minimum inconvenience to tenants, the dwellings need to be vacated during specific periods. The project team has come up with innovative solutions in terms of finding affordable alternative accommodation.

Temporary villages, made up of converted containers, are provided to accommodate residents and provide security and storage for their furniture. These 2.4 m wide by 12 m long containers includ insulation, partitioning, power, running water, ablution facilities as well as internal and external lighting.

As a result of Aurecon delivering engineering outcomes that make a direct difference in the lives of those who depend on safe, well-maintained rental property, the City of Cape Town was awarded the coveted ‘Housing Project of the Year’ award for this CRU Refurbishment Programme in 2012. This accolade is handed out by the Southern African Housing Foundation’s (SAHF) at their International Conference, Exhibition & Housing Awards and celebrates individuals and organisations that have excelled and have made an outstanding contribution to the development of sustainable communities. In addition, the project also won in the Institute of Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa’s (IMESA) ‘Community Upliftment’ category in 2012; as well as the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) Project Awards’ Community-based projects’ category in 2012.