Marikana Low Cost Housing
South Africa’s abundant mineral wealth has drawn millions of migrant and local workers to the country’s many mines and cities across the span of more than 2 centuries. Providing adequate accommodation for these indispensable personnel is one of the major concerns of the present day.
The provision of low cost housing in South Africa is tainted by a past in which many citizens were forcibly removed to concrete block houses, far from city centres. The focus for current developers is to create comfortable homes in a vibrant, community environment, while keeping costs low. This requires smart planning and the use of innovative products.
Sustainability is key. Sustainable employment for a sustainable economy, and environmental sustainability. The latter is often
These homes can provide dignity and comfort to the people who work hardest for the lowest reward in our developing economy.
There are numerous small elements that have a big impact: Landscaping of green areas, choice of paint colours, provision of family friendly amenities and optimized design of small spaces. It is important also that these properties are easy and affordable to maintain so that residents do not descend into the squalor so ubiquitous in high density working class areas. With the focus on cost, it would be easy to neglect environmental concerns. However, energy efficient products often assist in long term cost saving. Products like solar geysers and … are designed to be durable, as replacement increases environmental impact.
In the construction of the low-cost housing at Marikana, for mineworkers and their families, developers realized that energy efficient windows would significantly reduce the need for heating. Their research led them to Teva Windows, whose uPVC frames are the most energy efficient on the market. The high-quality hardware ensures that these windows close completely securely, providing an impenetrable barrier to the wind and dust in the area. This also has the added benefit of dampening sound in busy complexes. The secure design makes these frames difficult to remove for opportunistic criminals, allowing inhabitants peace of mind that their families are safe at home.