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A drive to reignite Jozi by MMC Mabaso

Member of Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Housing in the City of Joburg, Cllr Mlungisi Mabaso and contractor Urvash Singh, conduct an oversight visit in South Hills, this follows a protest march by residents of South Hills complaining about the quality of their houses and inadequate access to basic services, such as water and electricity.Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

Member of Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Housing in the City of Joburg, Cllr Mlungisi Mabaso and contractor Urvash Singh, conduct an oversight visit in South Hills, this follows a protest march by residents of South Hills complaining about the quality of their houses and inadequate access to basic services, such as water and electricity.Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

Published May 12, 2022

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MMC for Joburg Housing Mlungisi Mabaso says that there are engagements that are happening to rejuvenate the CBD when it comes to housing.

Mabaso said that the city wanted to assist when it came to low cost housing.

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“Especially for people who are living in the peripheries of Johannesburg to at least come closer to the inner city so they can be closer to their places of work, even transport wise,” he said.

He told The Star that they will also concentrate on the dilapidated building and issues of crime he said that there are few such buildings including one that will be demolished this Sunday.

“We want to introduce the RDP .. that will be the first development that will be part of the first to have RDP’s in the inner city,” he said.

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Mabaso said that this will also be low- cost and social housing which would make it a mixed development because there are people who do not qualify for RDP housing and this is the reason that this demographic needs to also be catered for.

“What we are trying to do is clean up the inner city to where it was, so that at least the investors are able to come back to the city of Johannesburg,” he said.

Mabaso said that the traditional inner city does not inspire confidence he added that the city wanted to make sure that even those who are employed who are staying on the peripheries of Johannesburg are provided with accommodation.

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Another sore point for Mabaso is the management of informal settlements as for various reasons one of which include whether the land is owned by government entities.

“For us we have to start by investigating who owns the land, if it privately owned then it becomes a challenge. We have to trace the owner and some tend to claim for damages,” he said.

Mabaso said that at times these owners are not willing to sell and they would instruct that people be removed from the vacant land which was invaded.

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“Secondly when an audit is conducted and after that is completed then you come a week later there are a hundred more shacks and this poses a serious risk for planning,” he said.

He said that there was the thorny issue of undocumented forign nations that make the task even harder as then the department of home affairs has to get involved. Mabaso explained that this creates an environment of contestation furthermore there is the matter of relocation which he says causes problems as some residents do not want to be relocated.

He highlighted that these matters had to be resolved so that informal settlements can be upgraded, which will mean the creation of roads and electrification. This, according to Mabaso, will make it easier for people to get title deeds.

He said that the mega projects like Lehae in Joburg have the potential to to have 5000 units and this is only possible if the provincial government gave a helping hand.

“I wrote to the provincial MEC for finance and today I'm writing to the MEC of human settlement. Yes we had formal engagements but support is not forthcoming,” he said.

Mabaso said that he was engaging with the private sector which will be accompanied with a Housing indaba to try and iron out these matters.

The housing indaba will be addressing these sorts of matters.

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