The development of Pelican Park represented an exciting flagship project for both Habitat and Power Construction. It is difficult to believe that just three years ago before the thriving Pelican Park community which exists today, the site was a vacant piece of land. In partnership with the City of Cape Town and Western Cape Government, Power Construction was contracted to build over 2000 housing units on the site – the first and the largest integrated residential development in the province.
Sue Johnson of Habitat reminisced, “On an empty piece of ground, we imagined a school, houses, and children playing.” Together Habitat and Power envisioned a community where people from different backgrounds would come together to become neighbours and empowered homeowners.
While Power built the homes, Habitat began its journey in the community in building cohesion, governance and leadership through our Social Facilitation Programme. Habitat’s Programme capacitates the first-time homeowners of Pelican Park to make informed decisions about their homes and community through educational workshops.
In addition, Habitat and Power collaborated in hosting the first volunteer team build event in the area in October 2013 with Habitat’s World Habitat Day. Thereafter the partnership grew with Power offering unwavering support as we hosted 6 further team events. The team build events brought together 10,000 volunteers to help build the homes, as well as the community members who were capacitated in providing invaluable assistance with the catering and logistical arrangements.
At the celebration of the conclusion of the partnership at Power’s Head Office on 14 December, Adrienne Burke of Habitat said, “The relationship between Power and us went beyond a partnership – Power became part of our DNA.”
Although the construction of homes in the area is complete, Habitat’s social facilitation process in the Pelican Park community continues, and in the words of Percy Knight from Power, “By presenting a home to a family, you’re not alleviating poverty. A home is just the starting point. The community needs to be uplifted in order to grow.” Habitat will continue to empower the community through leadership development and people-driven development projects.
A special thank you to the Power Group for the years of wonderful memories on and off the build site. We look forward to further years in partnership with you.