City’s R7,8 million Wallacedene upgrade project progressing, despite illegal occupation threats

by | Oct 21, 2020 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Malusi Booi, along with other dignitaries and City officials visited the Wallacedene informal settlement upgrade project in Kraaifontein today, 21 October 2020. The City is working to transform the lives of 269 households with one-on-one services and clear access ways for basic and emergency service delivery, among others.

This is in line with the City’s commitment of bringing greater formality to informal settlements where it is possible to do so; to mainstream basic services provision and to improve the lives of its most vulnerable residents amid rapid urbanisation and growing informality. The R7,8 million project involves the provision of 269 serviced sites for qualifying beneficiaries. The sites will have sewer and water connections on a one-on-one basis and roads and stormwater services will be constructed. Construction is under way.

‘The project is expected to be completed by December 2020 if all goes according to plan and if community and beneficiary support and cooperation for the project continues. Households from the settlements called Wallacedene Four-in One informal settlement and other qualifying beneficiaries will be accommodated. Living conditions will be improved but this project also enables economic opportunity and an economic stimulus in the area due to local labour deployment and other services, where possible. Importantly, our redesign and upgrade enhances safety as clear access ways are being created for basic and emergency services. In this settlement and so many others across the metro that has been created in an unplanned manner by occupants, structures are so close together that it is an extreme health and safety risk, but our City teams find it difficult to provide basic and emergency services, where we can.

‘Of great concern is the repeated attempts to illegally occupy this site. We need Cape Town and our communities to support us in our efforts to prevent illegal occupations across the metro. It not only is a great safety risk for those who illegally occupy and they occupy at own risk, but it also severely affects projects such as this one and the beneficiaries. Approximately R1,3 billion of projects are currently under threat from the surge in unlawful occupations across the metro, primarily driven by ‘shack farming’ syndicates and other orchestrators of illegal occupations. We encourage all our residents to help us protect our projects by letting us know if they have any information on planned illegal activity that is to take place.

‘We are not going to address the extreme housing need in Cape Town and in the rest of South Africa for that matter by focusing only on one type of housing delivery, the formal subsidy housing model or Breaking New Ground programme. We are going to have to be innovative, steadfast and drive the upgrade of informal settlements where it is possible to do so. That is why we have earmarked more than R4 billion for formalising informal accommodation such as informal settlements and backyard dwellings in the next years.

‘Urbanisation is not a municipal challenge alone, all tiers of government, the private sector and civic organisations, must work together and ensure that we are ahead of the curve with our plans to address rapid urbanisation. We must bring our communities on board with the alternatives that there are on offer. These upgrade projects are therefore steeped in the idea of partnerships. Our new draft Human Settlements Strategy that is currently out for public participation looks at ways to increase the affordable housing stock in Cape Town, across the board in the private and public sector. We encourage residents to take a look at the strategy and provide input,’ said Councillor Booi.

Comment on the draft Human Settlements Strategy
Please visit www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay. In addition, the executive summary of the strategy will be available in the three official languages recognised by the City at subcouncil offices during the public participation period.
 
Anonymous tip-offs welcomed:
Residents can give anonymous tip offs if they are aware of illegal activity that is taking place; that has happened or is still to happen. Please call 112 from a cell phone (toll free) and 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 for emergencies.
 
 
Courtesy of The Cape Town Media Office

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