The City withdrew its application to proceed with Phase 1 of the extension “in order to address process challenges that the City encountered”. The road widening and extension forms part of a greater revamp of Masiphumelele and its surrounds and has been under way for some time.
While the withdrawal of the application for environmental authorisation from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, would push back the completion date of the R55million road project, the City said it remained committed to seeing it through.
Mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment Marian Nieuwoudt said: “It’s the City’s intention to immediately resubmit the final environmental impact report (EIR) to the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning and correct the procedural issues encountered.”
But the residents of Masiphumelele are more interested in formal housing.
While there is a State-subsidised housing development comprising 227 Breaking New Ground homes being built at a cost of R85m, the residents say not enough is being done to address their pressing housing crisis.
“They are missing the need for proper housing in the area. We don’t dispute the road development; we need that because it will make way for proper housing developments in the area,” said community leader Tshepo Moletsana. He said the City consulted with them, but they were unhappy with the plans.
Mayco member for human settlements Malusi Booi said the City is committed to concluding the current housing development.
“Regarding current developments, the City’s Human Settlements Directorate, in conjunction with People’s Housing Process Support Organisation; has commenced with construction of the top structure phase of the Masiphumelele Phase 4 housing project.
“A-grade civil engineering services have already been provided in terms of a previous contract. This project comprises 227 Breaking New Ground State-subsidised houses for qualifying beneficiaries from the Masiphumelele wetlands informal settlement and from Masiphumelele backyards,” Booi said.@MarvinCharles17