A report tabled at the executive committee on Tuesday proposed that the city address housing challenges through this method.
The Daily News previously quoted city treasurer Krish Kumar as saying that it could take as many as 50 years to resolve the city’s housing crisis.
The report stated that the municipality had listed about 700 properties to be used for development. Instead of building low-cost houses on the land, recipients would build their own houses, negating the need for them to wait for houses to be built for them.
The city hoped that this would address the challenges of informal settlements and land invasions. DA exco member Heinz de Boer said the report was “pie in the sky” as it failed to realise that acquiring 700 properties would take an extremely long time.
“It is extremely ambitious,” he said.
De Boer said the city “was bad at securing land”. DA caucus leader Nicole Graham questioned when the city would complete the project.
Mondli Mthembu, the chairman of the human settlements and infrastructure development committee, said acquisition would happen in two ways.
The first would be the amicable sale of land; the second would be expropriation, with the city paying landowners sums at market value.
Mthembu said he realised the municipality could not continue promising everyone RDP houses and that people should be given plots to build their own houses.
Mthembu said the Cornubia project could not be depended on to solve the housing issues.
During the meeting, people gathered outside city hall, protesting about housing issues and irregular water supply. The group of about 60 people stopped traffic on Dr Pixley ka Seme (West) Street and engaged in heated arguments with irate motorists.
Lunga Maphumulo, an organiser of the protest, said the city had embarked on various projects in the Inanda, Lindelani and Ntuzuma areas, including building houses.
He said the city had allocated funds for the projects to be implemented, but administration officials were not implementing the projects.
“Our issue is not with the political heads, but the city officials,” Maphumulo said.
He said Inanda residents had become accustomed to having intermittent water supply while uMhlanga residents never had such issues.
Representatives of the protesters had spoken to city manager Sipho Nzuza about their issues.