72 informal settlements found within Msunduzi

2014-09-26 00:00

MSUNDUZI Executive Committee (Exco) members were shocked to learn that there are 72 informal settlements dotted around the city.

Councillor Bill Lambert described the situation as alarming, and asked how the figure was arrived at and what was being done about the situation.

The deputy municipal manager for Economic Development, Dr Ray Ngcobo, said the count was organised by the national Human Settlements Department.

Ngcobo said Msunduzi was prioritised by the department to receive technical assistance to conduct a rapid assessment of informal settlements. This work was done by Kayamandi, a research organisation hired by the national department.

Ngcobo said the next phase of the project was to put in place a plan to deal with informal settlements. This could mean upgrading some of the settlements and eradicating others.

Lambert noted that “eradicate” and “upgrade” were strong words, and said he looked forward to seeing the report, which Ngcobo had indicated would be presented to Exco before the end of October.

The committee agreed that a multi-sector informal settlement upgrading task team be extended to include departments like town planning, the building inspectorate, environmental management as well as parks and recreation.

In addition, Exco agreed to the establishment of project steering committees within the informal settlements to be the link with the residents in putting the strategy in place.

• According to the municipality, the majority of the 72 informal settlements are in the city’s northern suburbs and the Edendale area, with other shack dwellings spread around the city and in suburbs like Mkondeni and Napierville.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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