Eagerly awaited housing project to resume in Tongaat

2016-10-20 06:00
Engineer Vijay Ori (left) shows the housing plan for uMbhayi to ward Councillor Dolly Munien (second, left), Project Manager from Human Settlements (third, left) Zak Sadick and residents.     Photo: andile            sithole

Engineer Vijay Ori (left) shows the housing plan for uMbhayi to ward Councillor Dolly Munien (second, left), Project Manager from Human Settlements (third, left) Zak Sadick and residents. Photo: andile sithole

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PLANS to build new houses at uMbhayi Informal Settlements in Tongaat are under way after officials from the Department of Human Settlements visited the area on 14 October to confirm that the eagerly awaited housing project will resume in either January or February 2017.

The visit comes after a meeting regarding the housing project was brought to halt a week ago due to political intolerance between members of the ANC and DA.

Project manager from the Department of Human Settlements Zak Sadick said bilateral talks between the department and other stakeholders are at the advanced stage.

“I have been communicating with the community and we have come to the final stages of our discussions. The residents in phase one, two and three will be relocated to another area when the project resumes. We are expecting more than 800 flats to be built in the area. We can say that everything has been approved. I would like to commend ward committee member Maxwell Ndunge and the ward councillor Dolly Munien for ensuring that residents get houses,” he said.

Sadick said the 810 houses will be given to the community while 22 will be allocated to land owners.

Munien said: “For the past 20 years the community of uMbhayi has been struggling to get decent houses. We expect the project will resume next year as the officials from the department have promised us.

“I will write a letter to eThekwini Municipality and ask them if they can revamp a community hall because it is currently in a pathetic state,” she said.

Ndunge welcomed the new development.

“I am quite happy that at last our people will have something to cheer about after they suffered for such a long time. We are committed to working with the ward councillor to deliver services­ to the community we represent. I’m certain that the community is happy as they have been waiting for proper houses for a long time,” he said.

“Life will not be the same for the residents of uMbhayi. We had challenges that led to fatalities when people, including young children, were electrocuted by loose electricity cables, but with the housing project in the pipeline our preconceived idea is to turn uMbhayi into a new residential area.

Happiness and optimism were written on the faces of some of the residents at the presentation.

Some said that for 20 years they have been complaining about service delivery.

Mlungiselwa Tshezi (29), came to uMbhayi in 2011 from Mount Moreland near Umdloti to look for a job in Tongaat.

He said he could not afford to rent a cottage in the Tongaat CBD and built a shack in uMbhayi.

“I have been waiting for the good news for a long time and I hope this time officials will not make empty promises.

“The living conditions in our area are disgusting. Residents live in houses with no water and electricity, and that is why dwellers resort on stealing electricity,” he said.

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