Last Monday May 29, the City of Cape Town visited 48 tenants who live in its rental units to award them R1 000 gift vouchers for paying their rent consistently.
Tenants are from Hanover Park, Manenberg, Heideveld, Bonteheuwel, Strand, Macassar, Leonsdale, Kewtown, Mitchell’s Plain, Ravensmead, Gugulethu and Langa.
Stuart Diamond, the City’s mayoral committee member for assets and facilities management, said that winners must have paid their rent consecutively for three months and must be legitimate occupants in terms of the City’s rental housing policy and tenant agreements.
Six winners are drawn each month. The most recent beneficiaries were drawn for the period of June 2016 to January 2017.
Tenant Farieda Daniels, from Manenberg, has been renting from the City for seven years. She and her son rented accommodation from someone in Salt River before.
She said she was grateful to the City for acknowledging the tenants who paid their rent on time. “It is very important to pay your rent on time because if you don’t, you won’t have a a roof over your head. I am very happy to have received this award,” she said.
Mr Diamond said the incentive project helped the City to further improve the quality of rental stock so that when residents pay their rent regularly and on time, the City could do maintenance and upgrades as required.
Ms Daniels said the place where she had stayed previously had been in a terrible state. Rats, flies, and dirt had surrounded the separate entrance, so when the City contacted her about her current house after 27 years she had been ecstatic to finally get out of those poor living conditions.
She said people shouldn’t assume that Manenberg was only home to gangsters. “We have produced good people from our area such as lawyers, teachers, and doctors. Manenberg isn’t all about crime. I am happy living here, the gangsters don’t bother us,” she said.
Ms Daniels thanked the City for putting fencing around the flats because that stopped the children playing in the street and getting hurt.
“I love living in the area. All my family lives around me, and I have waited for this house for so long, I want to die here. Manenberg really isn’t as bad as people say it is.”
She encouraged more people to pay their rent on time.
“Maybe then they can also get vouchers,” she added.
Mr Diamond thanked all the recipients for being model citizens despite the economic pressures they face. “These rental contributions help us to provide a better quality of life for all tenants,” he said.
“I encourage the recipients to brag about their achievement to everyone – you deserve this recognition and celebration.”