KZN MEC committed to ’smarter cities’
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Durban – Neliswa Nkonyeni, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works, on Monday reaffirmed her department’s commitment to creating sustainable and affordable housing for those most in need across the province.
These sentiments came as the country and the world observed World Habitat Day on Monday.
Globally, the first Monday of the month of October is celebrated as World Habitat Day as adopted in 1985 by the United Nations General Assembly.
Nkonyeni said the majority party in government remained committed to the Freedom Charter’s vision of delivering houses, security and comfort for all in line with this year’s World Habitat Day theme, “Housing for All – A Better Urban Future”.
“Housing is one of the key service delivery priorities of the ANC-led government. As we mark World Habitat Day today, we once again recommit ourselves in ensuring that the realisation of this key service delivery priority becomes a reality.
“We shall do so in partnerships with our municipalities at local and district levels in line with the objectives of the district development model as we forge ahead to create new smart cities that will be a radical departure from the past racially segregated spatial planning,” Nkonyeni said in a statement on Monday.
The MEC said that through the development of these “smart cities”, the government staked its commitment to ensuring people lived near their places of work, worship and recreational facilities.
On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa attended the launch of a multibillion-rand housing development project in Tshwane, Gauteng.
“The Mooikloof Integrated Development has a total project value of over R84 billion (about US$5 billion). The first phase of the project is residential developments and some 50 000 sectional title units are planned,” the president said.
This, according to the president, was in a bid to eradicate the apartheid-style structured and built cities in South Africa that saw the black majority forced into townships, which also served as labour reserves.
“This development will also lead to the creation of some 41 000 jobs at a time when they are sorely needed,” Ramaphosa added in reference to the economic impact of the Covid-19 virus.
JSE-listed property development company Balwin Properties will head up construction on the project.
According to reports, unit prices are likely to range from R499 000 to R799 000 (about US$30,000 to US$49,000).
“Potential homeowners will also be able to apply for assistance from the government's Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme,” Ramaphosa added.
African News Agency (ANA)