At the handing over, Dan Bovu, the portfolio head of housing, said the City was committed to building sustainable human settlements and improving the quality of life of its residents. “This is a demonstration that we are serious about the programme of formalising informal settlements,” he told an assembly of community members.
Ximanga and Mshubane were only two of 37 residents who were moved this morning from informal settlements in the Soweto suburb of Dlamini, and in the areas of Mshenguville and Old Vista near Koma Road. Their previous abodes – clustered corrugated iron shacks – were demolished and the land on which they had been built cleared almost immediately.
Bovu empathised that the eradication of the three informal settlements formed part of a broader programme aimed at demolishing all informal settlements and was part of the executive mayor’s 90-day Accelerated Service Delivery programme.
He cautioned that the City would not allow the cleared land to be invaded again. Rather, the land would be handed over to Pikitup and City Parks to use for infrastructure development projects. “We will work closely with law enforcers in making sure that this land is not invaded.”
In 2008, the City adopted a policy to eradicate all 180 informal settlements within its boundaries by 2012; however, that policy was amended and a new deadline was set for 2014. To date, about 66 informal settlements have received in situ upgrades while others have been formalised.
The policy helps to fast-track the regularisation of informal settlements and is in line with the City’s principles of proactive absorption of the poor and settlement restructuring. The City is also rezoning informal settlements in terms of its town planning schemes and formalising them through the provisions of the Land Use Act.
Lehae is in Region G, in the southern quadrant of the metro, where the City intends constructing about 5 344 properties. Once finished, the settlement will yield about 3 066 subsidised houses (RDPs), 770 rental units and about 1 508 bonded units.
The unit size for RDP houses is 40m2 and sizes for the rental and bonded units are 55m2, 60m2 and 70m2. There are different typologies, including semi-detached units, row units, stand alone and cluster homes.
The community is also earmarked for socio-economic amenities, including six community facilities, two secondary schools, two primary schools, four crèches, eight religious institutions, two taxi ranks, four business sites and 38 public open spaces for recreational and other facilities.
The City intends spending about R33-billion in the 2011/2012 fiscal year in addressing service delivery, and building and maintaining major infrastructure projects. In his budget speech, the mayor allocated about R815,4-million to community development, to be invested in building libraries in schools, assisting displaced people and maintaining community facilities.
Housing received a chunk of R511,7-million for expanding infrastructure while development planning and urban management got R135,1-million.