Between June and September this year, 1 051 qualifying and deserving beneficiaries across the Western Cape have moved into their brand-new homes. These beneficiaries consisted of the elderly, people with medically certified disabilities, those who have been on the Housing Demand Database for 15 years and longer, backyard dwellers and former farmworkers.
This took place in Forest Village (Eersteriver) and Boystown (Nyanga) both in the Cape Metro, where 568 and 121 units were respectively handed over. In McGregor (Langeberg) and Idas Valley (Stellenbosch), areas within the Cape Winelands District, 53 and 18 units were respectively handed over. Hawston and Areas F and H in Bredasdorp, both in the Overberg District, respectively handed over 65 and 156 units. In Sonksynvallei in Mosselbay, 5 units were handed over while in Hornlee (Knysna) 35 beneficiaries received brand-new homes. In Qolweni (Plettenberg Bay) 30 homes have been handed over.
While we have not managed to reach the targets which we have set for ourselves as the Department of Human Settlements, we could not foresee the immense impact of COVID-19 on our projects. We also saw a surge in protest action, attempts to invade units, vacant land earmarked for development and vandalism of completed units.
Despite the pandemic, we remained focused on our commitment to bringing dignity to the people of this province. We were one of the first Departments in the country to allow for construction to commence in May and required our contractors to ensure that all safety protocols were put in place for all our sites.
We are pleased that these beneficiaries had the opportunity to completely change and improve their lives. We also remain determined to ensure that identified beneficiaries do not have to wait much longer to receive the keys to their new homes. For this reason, an instruction has been dispatched to contractors to accelerate the completion of the units so that they can speedily be handed over.
We're working closely with municipalities to eliminate unnecessary delays with the water and electricity connections of these units so that the entire beneficiary allocation process is finalised. This is particularly important to those beneficiaries who have been waiting for a long time for their homes.
I'd also like to call on communities to assist us in this process and urge them not to become the reason why their own community members are being delayed from moving into their homes.
As the Western Cape Government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society.