Move to eradicate informal settlements

2016-02-24 06:00

THE Msunduzi Municipality in the process of acquiring more land in order to roll out its housing programme that seeks to get rid of certain slums.

Deputy municipal manager for economic development Dr Ray Ngcobo at a recent portfolio committee meeting tabled the Informal Settlement Upgrading report that outlines a series of steps that need to be taken to deal with the challenge of informal settlements.

“As the municipality we continue to engage with landowners in order to acquire more land because the provision of adequate housing is one of our priorities,” said Ngcobo, who indicated that the municipality had acquired significant land in Ward 37.

The report tabled by Aurecon, the company appointed by the Department of Human Settlements, revealed there were two main categories of informal settlements – categories A that could be upgraded and category C, which is often affected by land availability.

“We have noted there are informal settlements that can be upgraded, but there are also instances where, because of land shortage, people have to be relocated,” said Aurecon’s Jako Strydom to committee members.

Some of the areas that the report looks into include survey and analysis, land and legal issues, environmental effects of the informal settlement, socioeconomic analysis including areas with access to education and health facilities and infrastructure.

Strydom said land acquisition remained the best option in dealing with the challenge. The report covered informal settlements from Edendale, Imbali and Bombay Road and the process involved holding discussions with residents.

The municipality’s Simphiwe Mbanjwa said a close watch was kept on all areas that fell within the ambit of the project to prevent land invasions. The municipality has, in the past, had problems with land invasion and obtained a court interdict that made it illegal to build on municipal land identified for development.

Committee chairperson councillor Eunice­ Majola said they were awaiting the next phase of the project. “It is an exciting project and we want to be updated on each phase.” – Supplied.

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