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Housing plans for KZN flood victims in settlements, says Premier Sihle Zikalala

Premier Sihle Zikalala, eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda and MEC for Human settlements Jomo Sibiya at a media briefing on the KZN flood disasters. Picture: Supplied.

Premier Sihle Zikalala, eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda and MEC for Human settlements Jomo Sibiya at a media briefing on the KZN flood disasters. Picture: Supplied.

Published Jul 6, 2022

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Durban - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has announced plans to build temporary residential units alongside permanent high-rise flats for flood victims of the Annet Drive informal settlement in Reservoir Hills.

Zikalala held a media briefing in Reservoir Hills to give an update on the rehousing of families staying in shelters due to the April and May floods.

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“We are today unveiling the parcels of land that have been secured and linked to each mass care centre as part of our programme to get the lives of the people back to normal and give them back their dignity,“he said.

The premier said the government was in the third stage of response to flood damage which is to focus on rehabilitation and reconstruction.

According to Zikalala, there are eight sites identified to build temporary residential units (TRUs) in eThekwini Metro with three in the North Region and five in the West Region. He said the province was able to start delivery of 1 074 TRUs as part of the first phase.

Families that will move to the Pemilton Reservoir Hills TRU are former residents of the Annet Drive informal settlement which was devastated by floods in April, when two people drowned and a child went missing.

He said after engagements with stakeholders in Reservoir Hills, a social facilitation process was concluded and the government took a compromise position where 76 TRUs would be erected at the same time as a permanent housing development process.

“What is most important is that the Department of Human Settlements has found the land to permanently settle the flood victims and they identified government land that is less than one kilometre from the Annet Drive informal settlement.”

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Human Settlements MEC Jomo Sibiya said they were prioritising everyone, even those victims who were not in shelters at the moment and had found refuge with family or friends.

Reservoir Hills councillor Alicia Kissoon said the ratepayers in the area were against the building of TRUs and were fighting for the government to build permanent structures.

“I hope the government will continue to engage with the community step by step as they build to ensure that the appropriate and promised structures are delivered.”

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EThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said the municipality was working with the affected communities since they had received many complaints from residents who did not want temporary structures in their neighbourhood.

Kaunda said the TRUs and proposed high-rise flats would increase the value of properties.

Other pieces of land that have been secured and for which designs have been completed for homes for flood victims are Cotton Lands (356 units and 14 ablution blocks), Ntuzuma (138 units and six ablution blocks) and Roodekrans (99 units and six ablution blocks). Other parcels of land are at Uitkoms farm, Klaarwater, Langefontein and Ntshongweni.

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Zikalala said the Human Settlements Department had identified projects worth more than R2 billion so far to rehouse displaced residents.

Zikalala added that the province had not received any funds from the national Treasury.

THE MERCURY

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