Kensington Road earmarked for housing

2019-08-20 06:00
Life is tough at the Sixth Avenue informal settlement in Kensington. Residents hope the housing plan will become a reality.PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

Life is tough at the Sixth Avenue informal settlement in Kensington. Residents hope the housing plan will become a reality.PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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Land to build houses for residents of the Sixth Avenue informal settlement in Kensington has been identified.

Helen Jacobs, councillor for ward 56, says the City of Cape Town has pinpointed a site on Kensington Road, located between the railway lines and the Kensington Rehabilitation Centre in Maitland, for development.

Jacobs says residents may now rest assured in the knowledge that their cry has been heard. Plans are currently underway and the City is holding talks on budget and designs.

The project will see 171 houses built. At present, there are 126 beneficiaries. Once the process is complete, the recipients of the remaining houses will be announced.

Mayco member for human settlement Malusi Booi confirms the City is in the process of completing the planning and design phase for this project.

He says once a planning proposal is available, sizes and type of houses will be determined. A report-back process will be conducted via the project steering committee.

This is one of many long-awaited projects in the community. Some of its beneficiaries have been waiting for more than 20 years (“We want houses’, residents say”, People’s Post, 19 February).

Rashieda Hans is one of these residents. Her family of seven has been squatting in a small shack for 20 years.

The thought of “finally” becoming a home-owner raises mixed emotions. She says, “it has been a long, painful wait”.

She says life has been traumatic – they have survived incidents of fire, floods and the impact of other social ills.

“I can cry tears of joy. I am so overwhelmed. My kids, who were born here, are now old,” says Hans.

She is unemployed and has spent her life moving from one area to a next.

Another resident and community activist, Jimmy Xalipi, says they are thankful to Booi for delivering on his promises.

He says Booi has been engaging with the residents since the beginning of the year.

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