HomeNewsCape Town provides electricity service to informal settlements

Cape Town provides electricity service to informal settlements

An initiative by the city of Cape Town will see residents living in informal structures within the bounds of the city on council rental stock property receive essential services. The programme began with a pilot project in the Factreton residential area where GIBB was appointed as the electrical consulting engineer responsible for the design and project management during the construction phase of the project.

The project involved the installation of electricity service connections to the informal backyard dwellings on the properties and the replacement of the backbone electricity distribution infrastructure. The pilot project included the installation of a communal toilet and a water standpipe on council rental properties by the city of Cape Town water and sanitation department and the provision of refuse bins by the solid waste management department.

“This was the first project of its kind in Cape Town and presented a set of unique challenges and required unconventional design solutions to ensure successful implementation,” GIBB project engineer, Phillip Jacobs, says. The brief from the city of Cape Town electricity services department included a design concept that had been developed by the client.

The design included the following aspects:

  • Design of a new street front underground network to service 1,517 erven (plots of land) in the Factreton township.
  • Design of a new streetlight network to replace the existing old system that was supplied from the midblock overhead line network.
  • Design of service connections to 188 backyarder structures on existing council rental stock.

GIBB was also responsible for project management, which included full time site supervision, during the construction phase of the first phase of the Factreton pilot project which comprised replacing the existing overhead low voltage reticulation with an underground network.

Associate at GIBB and project leader, Henk Brand, states that GIBB began working on the second phase of this substantial contract in March 2013. Following the successful completion of the Factreton pilot project, the programme was extended to the Hanover Park residential area and GIBB was again appointed as the electrical consulting engineer.

“The Hanover Park project consists of a total of 3,281 erven and an estimated 1,360 backyard connections with a total construction budget of R81.5 million,” Brand says.

Construction of the Hanover Park project began in January 2013 and is scheduled for completion by June 2014.

In August 2013 the city of Cape Town indicated that a decision had been taken to extend the programme to the Bonteheuwel residential area which has a total of 6,500 residential properties. There are many more areas across the metropolitan area in which the city plans to roll out the programme in the near future. The city of Cape Town human settlements directorate is in the process of identifying these and developing a programme.