A aerial view of an informal settlement near Nyanga. Photographer: Armand Hough/ANA
A aerial view of an informal settlement near Nyanga. Photographer: Armand Hough/ANA

City of Cape Town says upgrade of informal settlements under way

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Jul 30, 2020

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town said on Wednesday that plans were under way to upgrade informal settlements around the metro.

Mayc member for human settlements Malusi Booi said: “A number of high value and large projects are under way across the metro. The upgrade projects have been ongoing for a number of years. All upgrade projects contain elements of de-densification as a way to create space in order to perform the upgrades.

“The City needs space to roll out programmes. When it gets the space, it can do the work. If people do not move, or if people do not stop invading spaces that are earmarked for projects, we all remain in a vicious cycle and the most vulnerable people suffer the most.”

Booi said that despite the plans under way, there were challenges facing the City, including more illegal settlements exposing residents to health, safety, fire and flooding risks, and planned funds for upgrade projects were under threat.

“National government grants are also decreasing, so there are not infinite resources available. We cannot cater for all the new settlements at the expense of planned projects, service delivery and Covid-19 efforts.

“They include continuous land invasions, political and activist instigation for illegal occupation for their own short-term gains, community dynamics, and extreme volatility and violence in some areas.”

The City has earmarked R850 million in the medium-term for upgrades to informal settlements and backyarder services.

On Tuesday, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu held urgent talks with mayor Dan Plato on the recent spate of land grabs.

Plato said: “We said to the national minister that we are looking at a site in Khayelitsha that is full with shacks. They have moved on to a site where council wants to build 400 houses for the disadvantaged community of that area. It will take a long time to get the residents off that site and to get them legally on the housing waiting list.”

Cape Argus

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