Three temporary sites for Jika Joe residents

2010-05-10 00:00

THREE pieces of land have been identified for the temporary reallocation of Jika Joe residents as the Msunduzi Municipality has finally decided to demolish the shacks and rehabilitate the entire site.

This comes hot on the heels of the death of a three-year-old toddler on Saturday, who was electrocuted while playing with illegally connected electricity wires that were running along the ground.

At yesterday’s executive committee meeting, Msunduzi’s process manager for infrastructure, planning and surveying, Trevor Cowie, said it is imperative that the Jika Joe settlement residents be moved from the site, as they are living in dangerous and unhygienic conditions.

Cowie said the municipality has been battling to move the residents for years and that even though Reconstruction and Development Programme houses were provided for them in France township in 1998, many refused to go there.

Following the floods of 2008, the municipality provided tents and temporary housing to the Jika Joe residents, but others have since moved on to the flood plain — which is also dangerously placed under a power line.

He said the main reason why residents are reluctant to leave the area is because they do not want to be too far from town.

Three council properties in the vicinity of the current settlement will house Jika Joe residents temporarily while the settlement is being rehabilitated.

The three sites are as follows:

• Site one, next to the existing temporary housing units on Masukwana Street, which can accommodate about 130 temporary units;

• Site two, at the existing Tatham Sports Grounds, which can accommodate about 590 temporary units; and

• Site three, next to Fitzsimmons Road, which can accommodate about 280 units.

The municipality plans to provide water, electricity, a bulk sewer connection and waste removal services for these sites, while Exco waits for the arrival of a report detailing a permanent housing solution for the residents in a month’s time. To prevent resettlement on the land, the site will be fenced and monitored by security. The total cost of the 800 temporary housing units and its services will be R76 000.

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