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Nissan builds homes for the underpriveliged


Nissan and the City of Tshwane are launching Phase 2 of their ‘Nissanda’ project where another 30 homes will be built. The partners launched the Nissanda project in 2014 to provide housing for people in a new area of Ga-Rankuwa Township, north of Pretoria. Working with Habitat for Humanity, 50 homes have already been built in Nissanda (short form for Nissan Development Area) offering beneficiaries both a place to live, and hope.

Now another 30 families are set to be integrated into this community. Members of child-headed households, the physically disabled and the elderly will be empowered to take care of their living area and themselves as Phase 2 of Nissanda kicks off. The provision of quality housing is aimed at bringing about sustainable change in the lives of the new homeowners by inculcating a sense of citizenship, ownership and cohesion in their community.

Commenting on the launch of Phase 2, which begins in the last week of July this year, Project Manager and Events Co-ordinator at the City of Tshwane, Basetsana Malema, says: “Thanks to Nissanda, in the past two years we have transformed the lives of 50 families. As we move into the next phase, I am filled with hope for the impact that an additional 30 homes in Nissanda will have on another group of people – not only putting a roof over their heads, but also teaching them to sustain themselves.”

The City of Tshwane will select residents for Nissanda Phase 2 from an existing database of qualifying individuals. They have limited incomes and have never owned a house before. For these reasons, among others, the project partners use various sustainable building methods.

The houses in Nissanda are being built using construction methods that require little maintenance and are resistant to water damage. Special plumbing, electrical wiring and wall coating techniques are being employed which will result in good insulation of hot water supply and the Nissanda houses themselves. For residents, that translates into less cost for additional heating and cooling systems as well as savings in water and energy bills.

Keba Matlhako, CSR Manager at Nissan South Africa, explains that it was important for Nissan, along with the City of Tshwane and Habitat for Humanity, to find sustainable methods for building the houses in Nissanda: “Nissan wants to help make a real difference in residents’ lives. The first step is taking away the burden of worrying about where they’re going to live. Beyond that we want them to have safe, reliable homes that don’t end up costing them in the future.”

That vision continues for Nissan beyond the building of the houses themselves. Matlhako says, “Nissan will continue to assist with development and support of amenities to help Nissanda thrive. We plan to work closely with the City of Tshwane to create parks, support schools in the area, and develop skills-related projects that will enable the community to flourish.”

Basetsana Malema said, “Nissan’s contribution to this project has been the driving force behind our working together to change peoples’ lives for the better. It shows the company’s softer side. I believe this is a brilliant example of a public-private partnership in action.”

Completion of the homes being constructed for Nissanda Phase 2 is expected in November 2016.

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