Housing project promises not kept

HOT AIR: Former City of Joburg mayor Amos Masondo at the Elias Motsoaledi sod-turning ceremony last year. Picture: Matthews Baloyi

HOT AIR: Former City of Joburg mayor Amos Masondo at the Elias Motsoaledi sod-turning ceremony last year. Picture: Matthews Baloyi

Published Mar 29, 2012



‘BULK infrastructure at the second phase of the Elias Motsoaledi Housing Project is almost complete, with work on the houses expected to start between April and May.”

This was a caption on the city’s website of a picture of former Joburg mayor Amos Masondo proudly posing with a shovel during the sod-turning ceremony of the R340 million housing project at the Elias Motsoaledi informal settlement in March last year.

But a year later, not a single house has been built on site next to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital.

The project is expected to yield 1 456 RDP units and 1 300 units for rental. Residents from Motsoaledi informal settlement are earmarked as beneficiaries.

The city’s housing spokeswoman, Bubu Xuba, said the settlement originally had 1 289 households, but because most of these have tenants, the number increased to 3 368, according to the survey, which was done in 2008.

The combined 2 756 RDP and rental units will be far less that the required number for more than 3 000 households in the area.

Explaining the status of the project, Xuba said bulk water, sewerafe and internal reticulation work for Phase 1A started on March 18 last year and was completed in January.

She said that for Phase 1B the contractor for the construction of internal water and the sewerage was appointed in January.

Work commenced this month and was expected to be completed on September 28.

Xuba said Phase 1C, on a space currently occupied by residents, would begin only after the relocation and allocation of the beneficiaries occupying the area.

“The development of this area, installation of the internal engineering services, is expected to commence towards the end of the 2013 calendar year,” she said.

“House construction will commence with the construction of the showhouses and then followed by 40m2 houses in the next financial year, 2012/2013.”

Xuba said the strategy was to develop the vacant land first, then relocate the people on the land that will be developed next.

“Water and sewer services are to be constructed first, then main roads, followed by houses. The internal roads are to be the last, to avoid the roads being damaged by construction vehicles,” she said.

During a visit to the site last week, workers with an excavator were busy on one end of the site where houses are to be built.

It was unlikely the project would totally eradicate shacks in Motsoaledi, where most people were hoping for RDP rather than rental units, while only 1 456 fully subsidised units would be available.

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