Comprehensive housing plan promised

Posted On Friday, 16 July 2004 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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South Africa’s national Department of Housing will submit a comprehensive housing plan to Cabinet within the next ten days, Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said yesterday.

 

Lindiwe SisuluSpeaking at a media briefing in Pretoria, Sisulu revealed that the plan would also present solutions for housing in Diepsloot.

Police and residents clashed last week in the Johannesburg township, following rumours that residents would be forcibly relocated to the North West Province.

Describing the country’s housing situation as a "powder keg", she added that government would establish ‘hub information centres’ in areas such as Diepsloot, which would assist communities to obtain information about housing-related issues.

"There will also be a customer-care unit in Diepsloot so that residents can have access to our personnel. Communication with people must be tight enough to avoid the type of situation that arose in Diepsloot," she remarked.

Meanwhile, Gauteng housing MEC Nomvula Mokonyane reported that, while the riots in Diepsloot had been spread by a criminal element, the Gauteng department of housing would continue to tackle the population density in the area.

"We are targeting many areas and Diepsloot is one of them," she said, adding that the provincial government has already identified numerous sites for future housing development, including a 95 000-ha area. Developments such as Cosmo City, which is awaiting environmental approval, would also be completed in the future.

"Diepsloot will be integrated with different communities which we are hoping will evolve into one vibrant one," she explained.

Mokonyane stated that investigations have shown that the Diepsloot riots were sparked by rumours spread by criminals who used the density of the area to hide, and by people who bought RDP houses illegally.

As a result of the protests, infrastructure in Diepsloot was damaged and, Mokonyane said, local government would reprioritise and use its budget to repair the damage. This meant that development in Diepsloot would be affected, she added.

She also said that those who sold their houses illegally would not be given a second chance to own government-subsidised houses.

To further improve communication between residents and government, a toll-free information number – 0800-1-HOUSE – has been launched to give people access to all necessary information.

In addition, the Gauteng government has set up its own anticorruption unit to investigate the illegal ownership of government-subsidised houses.

Last modified on Tuesday, 27 May 2014 19:11

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