Municipality plans to open Cornubia before December

2013-09-16 00:00

THE city plans to hand over the first set of keys for the flagship social housing project Cornubia before December.

Phase 1 of the multibillion-rand Department of Human Settlements project for low- to middle-income earners near the Gateway mall north of Durban has 482 units targeting those with a monthly income of less than R3 000.

At least 232 units are set to be allocated to residents from one informal settlement within the city, which would then be demolished.

The ANC-led municipality has touted the project as one that will give dignity to the poor, but DA eThekwini caucus leader Zwakele Mncwango said the ANC had opted to use the project for electioneering, which could lead to unrest.

The city’s Executive Committee (Exco) led by Mayor James Nxumalo conducted a tour to assess progress of construction of the project at the weekend.

Nxumalo revealed that the allocation of beneficiaries has started and the first phase of the project would be occupied by the time the new homeowners celebrate Christmas.

Nxumalo said there was nothing to worry about, because the allocation policy was clear. “As per allocation policy, 250 units had been allocated to people from various wards,” said Nxumalo.

He said the plan for the city was to clear all slums. “We need to identify one informal settlement to occupy the remaining units,” he said.

The electricity and water connections were expected to be put in place next month. The high-rise structures are similar to starter homes and consist of two bedrooms, a bathroom and toilet as well as an open-plan kitchen and lounge.

The city has spent over R100 million on Phase 1A while Phase 1B, which consists of 2 200 units, is set to cost R550 million. Phase 1B is currently in the tender process and construction is expected to start towards year-end.

Human settlements and infrastructure committee chairperson Nigel Gumede said the municipality had plans to replicate the project in other areas and there were plans to rename the housing development.

Deputy Mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala said almost 80% of the business sites had already been sold.

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