New Gauteng social housing development takes shape

New Gauteng social housing development takes shape

Some of the apartment blocks at the new Turffontein social housing development have vaulted roofs, giving them a distinctive appearance.

South Africa has a housing backlog of about 2.3 million homes with Gauteng requiring 600 000 new homes to meet the need.

According to a report by the Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) the backlog in Gauteng keeps growing because people migrate to the country’s economic hub in search of employment.

Johannesburg Social Housing Company (JOSHCO), the City of Johannesburg’s entity mandated to provide and manage affordable rental housing for the lower income market, worked with the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) on the construction of the Turffontein development.

This development – in Corobrik’s Montana Light and Protea Travertine face bricks – is one of many social housing developments addressing this challenge, says JOSHCO contracts manager, Nico Killian.

“Turffontein is one of the areas identified for the city’s development under JOSHCO’s social housing delivery programme and also earmarked as a development node. The plan is to develop a total of 528 housing units in addition to communal rooms as emergency transitional housing.”

As a preferred supplier of face bricks for many social housing developments, Corobrik’s products were selected for the construction of the 5.015 ha Turffontein development, which consists of 525 units, 21 of which are transitional housing units.

“Corobrik’s range was chosen for the outer skin of the building as it is very low maintenance. The dust and dirt of everyday living will not show up against the brickwork, retaining a clean aesthetic for longer,” says Killian.

Anca Szalavicz of ASA Architects, tasked with designing the development, says the lack of ongoing maintenance and durability made Corobrik’s face brick the best choice.

“We used two different face bricks – Montana Light and Protea Travertine – to create some form of contrast in the design. Because of the high number of units, the design hinged on creating small, manageable, semi-private courtyards. Some of the blocks have vaulted roofs which gives the development a distinctive appearance.”

Corobrik’s commercial director, Musa Shangase, says that although affordability was always key in bridging the social housing gap, the demand would not be met without quality homes being constructed.

“We work closely with JOSHCO and the City of Johannesburg,” said Shangase. “Our extensive face brick range ensures costs are kept down because there is no future plastering or painting maintenance needed, but the aesthetics are not compromised. The clay bricks are all attractive, and have been so well used in the Turffontein design. It’s important that people feel proud of their homes.”

He says face brick’s durability meant the homes would be standing for generations to come.

“Investing in such a big development requires long-term projections, and here investors can be assured of the development’s longevity.”