Pretoria - One of the City of Tshwane’s responsibilities is first and foremost to ensure that residents enjoy an increased ­quality of life and efficient service delivery.

According to the accelerated service delivery mandate, this responsibility extends to the provision of housing, water and electricity supply, street lighting, waste removal and other local services.

Housing has proven a challenge, especially with the consistently increasing trend of migration to urban hubs such as the City of Tshwane.

According to Statistics SA, a quarter of South Africa’s documented population lives in Gauteng.

This has a trickle effect on the province’s economic hubs, especially with the housing backlog dating back as far as 1996.

This state of affairs has a direct effect on the City’s limited resources for fair and equitable resources to residents.

The Letsema programme calls for adequate care to be taken in providing residents housing infrastructure in habitable areas and as close as possible to existing urban areas, public transport routes and service delivery infrastructure. The capital city has a confirmed number of 187 informal settlements that require massive upgrades.

The objectives of Letsema aim to eradicate the legacy of the Native Land Act (Act 27 of 1913) and the Group Areas Act (Act 41 of 1950).

Through the Letsema programme, the City is expediting the upgrading of informal settlements by ensuring the provision of services such as water, sewers, electricity, roads and stormwater.

The crux of the programme is to promote security of tenure for all beneficiaries in the townships by speeding up the delivery of title deeds to state-subsidised housing.

To realise these objectives, the human settlement team has conducted a status quo analysis of all informal settlements across the city. We have divided the townships based on their readiness for upgrades and formalisation. Since its launch, the City has handed over the site at Nellmapius Extension 22 in Mamelodi for the commencement of installing a new water reticulation network in the area, following which the area will be formalised.

A town planner has been appointed to facilitate the process of township establishment. Beneficiaries have been relocated from different informal settlements in the region and allocated permanent stands in this area. The region is providing rudimentary services.

The scope of work includes construction of water reticulation to service 390 stands, installation of uPVC pipes and hydrants.

Booysens Extension 4 is a construction site with the development of 1185 units comprising 481 serviced stands and 704 affordable rental units.

The City has appointed a contractor to install the required services and the project is progressing well on site. The scope of work comprises construction of a 30 Megalitre reservoir, a 5500km bulk water feeder line, 6600km of water reticulation and 15700km of sewer reticulation.

The construction of roads and stormwater will follow in subsequent years leading to the proclamation of the township and opening of the township where title deeds will be issued to beneficiaries. Ultimately, all households in the identified townships will receive electricity, refuse removal, water and sanitation.

The City of Tshwane is on track in changing the living condition of residents. This is one way this administration is showing its commitment to restoring the dignity of our most indigent residents.

* Mokgalapa is the Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane

Pretoria News