KwaDukuza Municipality engages department to prioritise Etete Housing Project

2017-03-22 06:04

PROTEST action broke out in Etete last Tuesday over a housing project in the area.

Officials from the KwaDukuza Municipality (KDM) met with the protesters later that day.

The protest action over delays in the housing project there is not the first.

In an emailed response to questions, KwaDukuza Municipality communications officer Sphelelo Ngobese said at the moment­ delays in the housing project in Etete are due to unapproved funding for the construction of services and houses.

“Etete Housing Project has only obtained stage one approval [planning approval], KDM has submitted stage two application to KZN Human Settlement Department for consideration seeking funding for the services such as roads and stormwater, internal water reticulation and provision of sanitation.
“KDM is currently bridge financing the construction of services and R10 million has been set aside by KDM council,” Ngobese stated.

He said the municipality's politicians through the office of the mayor and speaker are engaging the KZN MEC of Human Settlement and Public Works Ravi Pillay, requesting he intervenes and instructs the KZN Human Settlement Department officials to prioritise the Etete Phase Four Housing Project.

“Only the showhouse has been completed, the rest of the houses will be built after obtaining stage two and three approval­," he said.

Regarding media reports that the community­ had shut down the construction site of the housing project a week before last week's protest, Ngobese said on 1 March at around 9am the municipality was informed by the project manager, Phumza Mlaba, that a group of people went to the site office and instructed everyone to stop working.

“It was reported that the protesters had a concern that construction has not yet commenced, a concern about two people who have been laid off by the implementing agent as one was not well and the other one was drunk at work. They also want the housing project to create more job opportunities,” Ngobese said.

He said no damages to property and injuries to people were reported following this incident.

Ngobese said the site office has been closed since then.

He said the site handover and sod-turning ceremony took place on May 23, 2016 and that the installation of services commenced two weeks later.

The site handover and sod turning came after the community had protested over the same issue in April 2016.

Then the mayor of KwaDukuza had informed protesters that the delay was due to sanitation.

The iLembe District Municipality, responsible for the provision of sanitation, was at that stage spending millions on removing mud, sludge and sediments - de-sludging in Etete, Nkobongo, Shayamoya and Shakashead, a process which, according to the district municipality's director of corporate governance Yvonne Mathonsi, has commenced.

“We've just completed a detailed feasibility study for all four areas.
“A service provider will be appointed by April 2017 to carry out the implementation of bulks in terms of design,” she said.

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