Court orders Slovo Park upgrade

2016-04-05 12:36


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Johannesburg - A Slovo Park resident on Tuesday said he could die a happy man, following a high court order setting in motion a process to develop the area after years of broken promises.

The High Court in Johannesburg ruled that the City should make a formal application with the province to upgrade the area. 

"The City is directed to make an application to the MEC, for funding to upgrade the Slovo Park informal settlement in terms of the Upgrading of Informal Settlements Programme within three months from the date of this order," Judge Sherise Weiner stated. 

Slovo Park was home to about 10 000 people living in about 3 700 shacks to the west of Johannesburg.

Slovo Park elder Frank Mapara said it was a dream come true. Speaking to another resident on the court steps, he said it would be OK if he died now, knowing the area would be developed. 

"I am so happy about the judgment. I was part of the first committee from 1990 and since then we were begging for services, but the City kept on sending us from pillar to post, moving us out, with promises of housing," he said. 

For over two decades, the informal settlement had been without electricity, water and sanitation, and roads. 

Over the years, the state had promised the residents that they would get formal housing and that money had been allocated for this. Despite this, nothing had happened.

Nomzamo Zondo, of the Socio-Economic Rights Institute, called it a ground-breaking judgment.

The policy to upgrade informal settlements stated that such areas had to be serviced and developed, she said. 

"It can't be that 20 years later, we still live here without flushing toilets, without electricity. The application of this policy would then mean that government would start putting in place services in Slovo Park and then later provide formal housing."

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  housing  |  land  |  service delivery

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