Houses on the horizon

2019-07-16 06:00
Residents of 6th Avenue Informal Resident in Kensington could soon move into their new homes.

Residents of 6th Avenue Informal Resident in Kensington could soon move into their new homes. (Thabang Kuaho)

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Residents of Sixth Avenue Informal Settlement in Kensington could soon find themselves moving into their new homes.

This comes after the City of Cape Town heeded the call of these residents to build them houses.

According to community leader, Jimmy Xalipi, the City told them during a meeting which was recently held that land had been identified to build the houses they require.

“The possibility of finally getting out of the current conditions comes as a relief to these residents. Finally, the wheels of change are turning,” Xalipi said.

The 6th Avenue Kensington Housing Project is a movement of the settlement for over 20 years formed to mobilise and demand houses from the City.

Currently, 166 families live in the area and have to share over 30 toilets which, according to residents, are poorly kept.

Xalipi said many residents have been affected by the conditions at the settlement, especially during winter.

“There have been many fire outbreaks in the informal settlement which saw many structures being destroyed and people dying as a result. All this is hopefully coming to an end soon.” 

A member of the Housing Project Adiel Bassiel said he was saddened by the fact that many people who started the project with him had passed on without seeing their dream being fulfilled. He said the informal settlement has been struck by one tragedy after another for many years.

“Heavy rains, crime, health risks and fires affect these residents very badly, we are happy that lives are changing and the cycle is being broken. There is hope for the younger generation,” he said.

Another resident, Mushfieka Davids started being involved in the project after her mother passed away a few years ago.

“My mother used to be an active member of the 6th Avenue Kensington Housing Project up until her passing and I am proud that I was one of the people who fulfilled her wishes,” Davids said.

In the 20 years, she has been living at the informal settlement, the situation has gotten worse over the years, she said.

“It is more congested and the health risks keeps increasing.”

Xalipi wished that this move by the City gets extended to other communities facing similar issues.

Mayco member for human settlements, Malusi Booi said the City has been constantly engaging with residents of the informal settlements to find solutions for them. He said the intention was to develop the land in Maitland and 6th Avenue Informal Settlement sites for low-income housing. 

“Feasibility studies are underway in order to apply for development approvals for these two sites,” Booi said.

“It is difficult to give an exact time frame at this point as the timelines are determined by statutory processes, environmental impact assessments, development applications, as well as applications for funding.”

He said the City was in the process of engaging with residents, and that other engagements will involve the greater Kensington as well as the Maitland communities.


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