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Minister Simmers visits Better Living Challenge tutorial filming

Tuesday, 22 September 2020  
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Last month we reported that the Better Living Challenge (BLC), a project of the Craft and Design Institute, has taken steps this year to adapt to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The BLC is producing short instructional videos to complement a full toolkit which explains basic design and building techniques. The combination of the videos and toolkit will help local builders in the informal housing sector to gain new skills remotely.

 

In September, Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers visited the filming site of the Better Living Challenge (BLC) tutorials.


Accompanied by the Head of Department (HOD), Ms Jacqueline Samson, Minister Simmers engaged 8 of the 15 participants that were part of the first round of this initiative.


The BLC Project, which commenced 12 months ago, is funded by the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements as well as the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, and facilitated by the Craft and Design Institute, seeks to expand homeowners’ capacity to upgrade their homes; enable informal contractors to expand income capacity; understand and assist systems in the second-hand construction material and value chain; and improve access to affordable finance.


Minister Simmers said: “Initiatives such as these are truly empowering, as there is a direct transferal of skills, while power is placed in the hands of the people. This will go a long way in making a difference in our communities. It also once again demonstrates the Western Cape Government’s commitment to helping community members acquire relevant and necessary skills to improve their own living conditions, while also showing others through these tutorials how it can be done.


In addition to this, it shows the Department’s commitment to contributing to the development of skills for builders from low income communities, which ties in with our Living Cape: A Human Settlements Framework.


Furthermore, it complements and supports our Informal Settlement Support Programme (ISSP), which is used to assist municipalities and other stakeholders across the province to simplify informal settlement upgrading.”


Eight of the 15 small-scale builder graduates from 2019’s Design and Build Incubator were filmed while building various structures, in order to create online learning material.  The online learning material intends to demonstrate to small-scale builders and recipients of serviced sites how new structures can be erected, focusing on improved design principles, building skills, basic business skills, and marketing skills. 


“Empowerment and job creation is one of our key drivers and through these types of initiatives we are ensuring that development takes place, while opportunities are created for individuals and groups to expand their horizons within this sector. Once possible, the eight small-scale builders and the BLC Team will host workshops within two municipalities, which must still be concluded, to facilitate the teaching of the online tutorials,” added Simmers.

 



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