The community of Crossroads is gearing itself for new houses in Boystown after more than two years of infighting.
The construction of the Phase 3 A housing project is expected to start in November, paving way for more than 400 new houses.
Last month, contractors began working on the site opposite Mfesane by installing underground infrastructure after an agreement was reached with a group of residents who had been occupying the land.
The project was meant to start in 2017 but was halted after disagreements among residents. Ward 36 councillor Nokuthula Bolitye said the project started in 2012. “The construction of Phase 1 started in 2012 and Phase 2 started in 2015. There were some delays at the beginning of Phase 3 A because of the infighting among the community leaders in the area,” said Bolitye.
The project is expected to accommodate shack dwellers from Boystown, Sondela, New Rest, Gqobhasi, Bhekela and people who are living in open spaces in the area.
Bolitye said they will prioritise elders. “We will ensure that our first beneficiaries are elderly people,” she said adding that the minimum age is 35. “We can’t have a situation where a young person receives a house before a 75-year-old,” she stated. Bolitye said everything is going according to plan and they intend to move in people as soon the houses are finished to prevent vandalism.
Project steering committee chairperson Nontsikelelo Dyasi echoed Bolitye’s sentiments. “There were shack owners who didn’t want to relocate to another open space within the area. During these tactical delays we discovered that some people already had houses while others didn’t qualify for the RDP houses because were earning high salaries,” she said. However, she said they were eventually able to resolve the crisis. “Everything is fine for now. The construction has already started and everything goes well,” said Dyasi.