THE R400 million Jika Joe residential project, which will see 1 000 units being built in the vicinity of this historic informal settlement, is expected to start in April. The project will be split into three phases - phase one will be enrolled at Jika Joe’s Tatham sports field, phase two will be adjacent to the new temporary housing project near the informal settlement, and the last phase will be located in Masukwana Street, previously known as East Street, where the old temporary housing is, near Ally’s Driving School.Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said that Motheo Construction Group has been appointed as the contractor and Groundworks as the project managers.“The total project value is estimated at R400 million and comprises approximately 1 000 units. Each unit will have two bedrooms, a lounge, kitchen and bathroom. The Tatham sports ground stadium will be upgraded to be used as a community facility. The immediate beneficiaries will be those living in the adjoining informal settlements, provided they meet the qualifying criteria and are able to pay rent. It is envisaged that construction may start from April. “Phase one, approved by the Department of Human Settlements, was R14 million. That funding was used for feasibility studies, planning and the design of the project. We are in the final stage of this phase. The final designs are complete and will be submitted to the municipality for approval in due course,” said Madonda. Jika Joe community leader Thembinkosi Magagula asked the Msunduzi Municipality to conduct community meetings to update residents about the progress of the project.“The project will be in favour of those who are employed, the unemployed at Jika Joe will not benefit as they do not have the financial muscle to pay monthly rent for accommodation,” said Magagula. “There are pensioners and youths who are not working and it’s obvious they will have a hard time paying rent. We would like to see these people being accommodated in RDP houses,” said Magagula.