Lesiba Mpya, 36, styles himself as the “Destroyer of shacks”.
As MMC (member of the mayoral committee) responsible for human settlements in Ekurhuleni, Mpya is determined to eradicate informal housing and give his people a solid roof over their heads and the dignity of having a home they can call their own.
He chuckles: “I am Mr Shack Destroyer. I give people hope that one day they will live under their own roofs.”
Mpya says there was a notion that when a councillor is deployed in the department of human settlements, the mission is to destroy that individual.
“So, it is the first time we have such a vibrant department and there is a lot more to see.” Mpya’s department has given people security of tenure by granting them title deeds in areas around Ekurhuleni and accommodation including RDP walk-ups (flats) in Clavyville Extension 45.
“By the time when we gave 253 RDP walks-ups, we had ensured that 180 title deeds were in our possession.
We targeted 2 500 title deeds in the financial year of 2017-18 and we have gone beyond that target.
We have 11 000 in our possession.” A major target of the resettlement programmes is the youth and, says Mpya, “We are unapologetic about that because it goes to the heart.
As a young councillor myself, a proud product of the youth, I’m here to speak on youth issues and I pull no punches.” Empowering the youth is one of his key goals and among his projects is hosting the Ninja Hacks Hackathon at the Alberton Civic Centre tomorrow.
A Youth Month activity, the hackathon sees “Ekurhuleni’s tech-savvy and innovative minds come up with a youth portal for the city’s youth directorate”.
Mpya says: “We want to give space to innovative youth in Ekurhuleni, who are able to develop their own software.”
Human settlements, Ekurhuleni
- Clayville Extension 45, first phase completed.
- Two-hundred subsidised, dignified RDP houses have been allocated. Financial linked individual programme subsidy units also have been allocated and 253 more are under construction.
- Installation of internal services in Tsakane 23.
- Installation of bulk and engineering services at Chief Albert Luthuli is under way.
- Site establishment works are in progress in Leeupoort.
- In Palm Ridge Extension 10 and 11, the construction of 771 fully serviced stands and installation of electricity and streets lights have been completed.
- There are two social housing projects for Germiston urban renewal. About 144 units have been completed, and the allocation process to 112 tenants will be completed by the end of June