Durban – Two families that lived at the Jika Joe informal settlement took occupation of the first 404 rental units in the new Jika Joe Community Residential Units (CRU) in Pietermaritzburg on Monday.
The low-cost rental housing project was built to accommodate the residents of the settlement. It is in close proximity to the Pietermaritzburg CBD, within walking distance of the industrial park across the N3, and neighbours the Brookside Mall, which achieves the government’s prerogative of providing accommodation to its people closer to all economic activities.
Receiving her house keys, an emotional Gogo Sylvia Ndlela said: “I have never used a flushing toilet in my whole 73 years, never slept on a bed. This has brought dignity into my life.”
More than 400 hundred families who lived at the settlement will begin moving into the Jika Joe CRU housing project soon. The project cost the KwaZulu-Natal government R445 million, and the housing project that was completed three years ago will consist of 760 total yield low cost affordable rental apartments.
The phase 1A ready for occupation of the rental project cost R164m, and those eligible for occupation must be households that earn a total of R801 to R3 500.
The new apartment blocks were jointly unveiled by Human Settlements and Public Works MEC Sipho “KK” Nkosi, together with Msunduzi Local Municipality mayor Councillor Mzimkhulu Thebolla, and uMgungundlovu District Municipality mayor Councillor Mzi Zuma.
Nkosi said that these rental housing units were the first cohorts of decent housing for people. The four-storey walker apartments each have two bedrooms, open plan kitchen and living room units, a bathroom and a toilet. The occupants will have a geyser, prepaid water and prepaid electricity meters.
“All the occupant will have to do is to buy the amount of water and power that they can afford at any particular time,” Nkosi stated.
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