Low cost housing project back on track

THE eagerly-awaited housing project for Umbhayi Informal Settlement resumed last week after dwellers made numerous complaints to officials about poor service delivery.

More than 200 families from phase two in Umbhayi will be relocated to transit camps while the project is underway.

The 831 RDP two-room houses are expected to resume construction after the completion of the 236 transit camps in phase two.

Once the process has been completed, all the affected families will be relocated into their new low cost homes.

Ward committee member Maxwell Ndunge said they have been waiting for the project since 1996.

“The negotiations started by the former north local council entity. All I can say is that we are very happy to reach the final stage where we see trucks clearing the site. It’s a dream come true for the community of Umbhayi since we have been waiting for too long for the project to resume.

“I would like to thank all former councillors, James Gumede, Kola Govender and Michael Abraham who laid the foundations in all discussions with landowners to release the land to eThekwini Municipality for the approval of the budget,” Ndunge said.

He also thanked ward councillor Dolly Munien for working diligently alongside the project steering committee to ensure that the project reaches the final stage in terms of the relocation process.

Ndunge added: “I appeal to the members of the community to be patient and allow all due processes to unfold. If there are issues of concern, they must visit the office of the councillor at Tongaat Sizakala Centre.”

Munien confirmed that the project was underway, saying that eThekwini Human Settlements Department is spearheading the project.

“I have been fighting for the people of Umbhayi to get houses from 2009 when the former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela visited Tongaat.

“We hope once the houses have been allocated to the people, the issue of illegal connections will be the thing of the past,” she said.

Munien advised the community to be patient while the project is underway.

“We appeal to all the dwellers not to allow the outsiders to occupy the new RDP houses.

“They must not bring in the people coming from other areas,” Munien added.

The affected families who will be accommodated at the transit camps will be provided with a water stand pipe and two ablution facilities.

Munien said the municipality is on a mission to eliminate illegal connections in the informal settlements.

The Electricity Department will provide the RDP beneficiaries with electricity.