South African Builder visits Fleurhof with Adrian Ford, contract manager for
main contractor Calgro M3 Holdings and Rajesh Harripersadh, key account manager for cement supplier PPC.
When two or more professional companies work together to achieve a common goal – in so doing deploying their combined range of skills, products and technology – the resulting synergy and high quality of outcome is indeed a sight to behold.
Such is the case with the Fleurhof residential and mixed use development in the west of Johannesburg.
Fleurhof is a Gauteng Partnership Fund (GPF) affordable housing development project and is one of the largest housing projects of its kind in the country – an outstanding model of integrated development. When completed it will comprise 10 193 free standing and sectional title, low-and middle-income housing units, eight nursery and pre-schools, five schools, five religious sites, 38 community gardens and play areas, a shopping centre, five business centres and an industrial park.
The 440ha land area of Fleurhof Ext 2 comprises various types of residential units and forms of tenure that have specific economic target markets, namely: fully subsidized RDP/BNG housing; gap; social rental; open market rental; and affordable housing. Home offerings include both rental and home ownership options.
The total development cost for Fleurhof stands at R78 million of which R23 million is funded by the GPF and the remaining R55 million by other stakeholders, amongst whom is International Housing Solutions (IHS).
Construction began in 2011 and, with main contractor Calgro M3 Holdings at the helm, has moved apace since and is already more than half completed. Around 5 000 residents currently live at Fleurhof, many of whom have already made further improvements to their homes. The project is due for completion in 2018.
“Construction of a project of this magnitude can only be undertaken with the close cooperation of professional and reliable partners and suppliers for the duration,” said Adrian Ford, contract manager for main contractor Calgro M3 Holdings. “In PPC we have that essential synergy, developed over many years of working together. PPC understands our every need and anticipates our cement requirements perfectly – enabling us to meet the tight ongoing construction deadlines and get families into homes.”
On material supply, Rajesh Harripersadh, key account manager at PPC provides us with some insight to the enormous scale of this housing project: “We deliver over 20 000 bags of cement to Fleurhof per month,” said Harripersadh. “This consistent volume over six years is certainly significant, and requires considerable pre-planning, close cooperation and good logistics management.
“Our plant capacities and resources at PPC are well geared to supply at this level, and our product is of course renowned for its high quality and reliability.”
During our tour of the Fleurhof estate what struck us was the exceptional high standard of finish on all buildings – this is evident in the photos displayed here.
The turnkey construction service provided by Calgro M3 plays a key role in achieving this outcome, as all aspects of construction, including design and procurement, are managed in-house with their own resources, enabling full control of all elements.
The Calgro M3 project team is also currently investigating various potential green initiatives to assess the viability of certain energy saving technologies such as solar water heaters, heat pumps and improved insulation for the various types of housing units.
Residential recycling projects, food gardening and urban greening initiatives are also being looked at. Besides the green component, the added benefit of these measures will also reduce electricity demand by the development and make the township socially and visually more attractive. In addition, a new water reservoir is being constructed while Fleurhof will obtain electricity from the shared sub-station implemented for the nearby Pennyville project.
Housing in South Africa remains a challenge that municipalities, provincial and national government are working to address. While formal housing has grown by 50% since 1994 with 5.6 million formal homes already built, an additional 1.5 million housing opportunities need to be created by 2019 to meet government commitments. Over R250 billion will be made available for this during this period including affordable bonded housing investments by banks, rental accommodation developments by the private sector and agencies, and government subsidies and housing investments by big employers and mining companies.
Global private equity investor, International Housing Solutions (IHS), is set to pump more than R1.6 billion into funding the development of affordable homes in sub-Saharan Africa, following major inflows from both local and international investors into its second fund.
Rob Wesselo, Managing Partner of IHS, says the new tranche of investment has allowed it to again invite developers with whom the company will partner, to create the next generation single- and rental developments and student housing.
“The construction industry remains one of the biggest employers and this provides a double impact for our investments – job creation as well as the creation of homes for families who would not otherwise be able to get a start on the property ladder.”
Wesselo says that one of the fund’s flagship projects, which illustrates the good partnership IHS has forged with developers, was its stake in the Fleurhof development in the Western Johannesburg area.
Wesselo says the development has transformed the area and is a good example of how IHS’s partnership with developers goes beyond just providing homes to create thriving communities.