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New Housing Project envisaged in Jozi

Demolition of the Karsene building in the Johannesburg CBD.Image : Supplied

Demolition of the Karsene building in the Johannesburg CBD.Image : Supplied

Published May 15, 2022


By: Siyabonga Sithole

Residents of Khayelitsha Informal settlement have welcomed the demolition of the Kaserne building which was destroyed by the City of Johannesburg today.

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The building was destroyed as a result of structural problems following a fire incident in 2021.

Before the implosion, the building was invaded by the people who erected shacks inside the structure who have since been relocated to the nearby informal settlement as the city's interim solution.

Noluthando Cebekhulu who is one of the residents said she cannot wait for her to get her own place to stay since being temporarily relocated to the informal settlement within the vicinity of the infamous Kaserne building.

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“We were told that we will be given our own Flats once the construction of the mixed economy residential area is complete. At the moment I am staying in a shack and struggling with the electricity connection when it gets wet. The system they connected us on is very dangerous as electric wires are on the ground. We also do not have proper toilets around here. So having my own place to stay would really be lovely,” she said.

Mthobisi Majola said they need relatable water supply as well as jobs. “ There are a lot of rats around here. Water is also a problem as we are forced to drink water that is not safe for human consumption. Some of us are also unemployed and would love to be given jobs to help around,” he said.

City of Johannesburg Mayor, Mpho Phalatse said the city is battling with a housing problem which has forced the city to intensify its efforts in providing proper housing for the residents of the city.

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“The housing waiting list in the city is about 480 000 and we do not have sufficient properties to provide housing. The housing department in the City of Johannesburg is now busy with various housing projects. Following this implosion. We will be developing this facility to provide housing for the citizens of the city so they are able to work and live closer to the city,”, the mayor said.

MMC for housing Mlungisi Mabaso who also presided over the demolition says there are over 500 families who have been earmarked for the new mixed housing project in the area.

Even though we are unable to give you the exact time lines of when the construction will be completed, we want to ensure that the people living here will be prioritised for the social housing project being built here. We know that there are at least 500 families who will be the direct beneficiaries of the mixed social housing to be built following this demolition. The rest of the beneficiaries will then be made up of people from outside this area,” Mabaso said.

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According to Phoenecian Group who oversaw the explosion of the building, the work took three months of detailed planning to execute even though the collapse itself took only four seconds with the use of 793 non electronic detonators.

“ It took three months of detailed planning to achieve this. There is a huge amount of planning involved as you only have a single attempt to implode such a structure successfully' said Sne Khanyile.

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