By: Tebogo Mokwena
In order to ensure that township residents have quality homes, Tjama Keta’s architecture business focuses on extending RDP homes. Keta chose this model because he understands how difficult it is for township residents to afford quality and modernised homes, and all the processes needed to build a home. Keta explained to Vutivi News that while his business, K&M Visuals, provided architectural services to companies and residencies in the Vaal Triangle, he mostly focused on the townships because many of these residents were desperate for beautiful homes.
He also said they needed help with municipal paperwork for building, rebuilding and extending their homes. With his business, Keta draws the house plan and has it checked by the company’s structural engineer. The plans are then submitted to the municipality for approval, after which the building process begins. He also helps them understand zoning and rezoning laws, and does the paperwork for them at an affordable price. Keta said that often customers could not pay him in full, but he allowed them to do so in installments.
He cited an example in which a client wanted to extend his home, but could initially only afford the plan and the foundation. He was able to complete extending his house after a few years. “As a company, we are very patient with our people because although they live in townships with poor infrastructure, they too deserve to live in beautiful and modern designed homes,” he told Vutivi News.
Keta said that one of the issues that prevented homeowners from improving their houses or rebuilding them was access to their title deeds. This was because South African law allowed RDP homeowners to own their homes after eight years, but the process of distributing the title deeds took time. So, they had to wait at least eight years before making any changes. However, he believes that in time, they too will be able to own homes such as those in the suburbs. Keta said that with his team of 35 employees, his dream was to fix infrastructure in townships. “We want to get involved in community building on a larger scale like building estates in the townships,” he said.