Enriching people’s lives by building sustainable communities
- Partnership with The City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality and Habitat for Humanity
- 50 houses to be built in phase 1 of project
GA-RANKUWA, South Africa (12 September, 2013) – “I’m so happy I don’t know what to say, I’d given up on having my own house. If not for Nissan I’d still be suffering now.”
With these simple words, Mostapha Mahomed (59) sums up Nissan’s Blue Citizenship global housing initiative aimed at uplifting and empowering communities. In partnership with the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality Habitat for Humanity SA, the Nissan project in South Africa will provide housing to beneficiaries in Zone 10, a new area of Ga-Rankuwa township, north of Pretoria.
Turned down six years ago when he first applied for a house, Mahomed is one of 200 beneficiaries identified by the City of Tshwane from its indigent register. Coincidentally, he’s a former Nissan employee who covered car seats for 15 years and has been out of work since suffering a stroke that partially paralysed him and confined him to a wheelchair 19 years ago.
Mahomed’s house will be constructed to meet his disability challenges. Excited at the prospect of his own home, he said: “I’m looking forward to being independent again.”
A greenfields project in a new area consisting of 1200 stands provided by the City of Tshwane, sites are already pinpointed for schools, community facilities and parks. To fast track the project, the City of Tshwane has accelerated infrastructure support and exempted Nissan from building control registration fees. The first phase of the project will see 50 houses built by the end of this year.
At a ceremony to officially launch the project, Nissan SA (NSA) managing director Mike Whitfield thanked officials from the City of Tshwane, representatives of Habitat for Humanity, the media and members of the community for joining Nissan SA at this important event. He then cut the ribbon to the first completed showhouse.
“This project is close to the hearts of all of us at Nissan SA,” said Whitfield, “and it is with pride and humility that we look forward to participating in the transformation of so many people’s lives.”
He then handed over the showhouse front door key to Executive Mayor, Kgosientso Ramokgopa. Accepting the key, Ramokgopa said: “This partnership with Nissan is in line with the City’s Growth and Development Strategy (Tshwane Vision 2055) of transforming the unequal and segregated city’s landscape by building sustainable communities and providing adequate, quality services and infrastructure for all residents.
“The total eradication of informal settlements remains an important goal of our work. As we rebuild a capital, the city will be partnering with the private sector with a clear intention to fast track the formalisation of informal settlements, proclaim un-proclaimed townships, issue title deeds to RDP beneficiaries and relocate families who have settled along servitude reserves to permanent serviced stands.
“We believe that having a home and an address is equivalent to having an identity document and will restore dignity to these families and further help us know who is who in the city.”
Whitfield also thanked Habitat for Humanity South Africa for bringing its well-known expertise and experience in enabling communities through the provision of housing to bring about sustainable change for themselves, leading the way to a better South Africa.
Habitat for Humanity SA’s Board Chairman, Bonginkosi Dlalisa added his support. “It’s a privilege to be part of this initiative as it begins the process of creating sustainable change and breaking the shackles of poverty, one community at a time. We look forward to delivering quality housing through our social facilitation programme.”
Each 40 square metre unit is designed to accommodate a family of four, contains ceilings throughout and will be plastered and painted before occupation.
Habitat for Humanity’s engineer will oversee construction, which will be undertaken by companies from local areas. It’s estimated that each house will cost in the region of R108,000 to build.
To qualify as beneficiaries on the City of Tshwane indigent register, applicants have to be South African citizens who have never previously owned a house, and whose total household income is R3, 500 or less. Special cases include the elderly, child-headed households, people with disability and military veterans who meet the criteria.
Funding of the project in South Africa is not taxable and forms part of NSA’s CSR Philanthropy programme, one of the pillars of Nissan’s Blue Citizenship strategy, centred on mobility, community and sustainability.
Last word goes to 52-year-old unemployed Ronald Mohlaba whose two children aged 13 and 28 live with him in his mother’s dwelling. Asked how he’ll feel when he moves into his house, he said: “I’ll probably cry. It will be a joy that you can’t explain, something that you can call your own. It’s a blessing.”
About Nissan Motor Co.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 267,000 employees globally, Nissan sold more than 4.9 million vehicles and generated revenue of 9.6 trillion yen (USD 116.16 billion) in fiscal 2012. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of over 60 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history.
Blue Citizenship is the commitment of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. to realize our vision of Enriching People’s Lives. We commit to our customers, shareholders, employees and the communities where we do business to deliver engaging, valuable and sustainable mobility for all. Through our business activities, we aim to create economic value and to actively contribute towards the development of a sustainable society.
- CSR website nissan-global.com/EN/COMPANY/CSR/
- Corporate Citizenship Activities website nissan-global.com/EN/CITIZENSHIP/
About Nissan in South Africa
Nissan South Africa is the operational hub for Regional Business Unit South, serving Nissan’s key South Africa market and 42 other countries in Sub Saharan Africa, including Angola, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. The company offers a range of locally-produced and imported vehicles in these markets. Employing nearly 2000 people, its Rosslyn plant manufactures light commercial vehicles which include the NP200 half-ton pickup and NP300 one-ton Hardbody. It also produces the Livina and Sandero passenger vehicles, the latter for Alliance partner Renault. Nissan South Africa is one of the top three automotive companies in South Africa. In fiscal 2012 the company sold 50 542 vehicles.
About Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 and is active in 80 countries around the world. Over 500 000 houses have been built worldwide; a Habitat house is completed somewhere in the world every 27 minutes. Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with communities in need. Through the provision of housing, Habitat enables communities to bring about sustainable change for themselves, leading the way to a better South Africa. For more information or to become involved contact firstname.lastname@example.org