A workshop that will give a comprehensive overview of all housing issues, including the situation of backyard dwellers, is on the cards for councillors and officials of George Municipality, reports George Herald.
Long-term housing plans will form part of a discussion which is aimed to give direction to a dire situation.
This comes after a motion on the housing dilemma, tabled by PBI leader Virgill Gericke, was accepted by Council at a meeting last Thursday. Gericke asked Council to embark on a long or medium-term strategy to address the growing demand of needs of backyard dwellers, even if it means getting the help of experts.
Portfolio councillor of human settlements Dawid Willemse proposed that an urgent workshop be held regarding backyard dwellers and leadership, and that funding be discussed during the directorate’s next Article 80 committee meeting.
Gericke said it was common knowledge that the housing waiting list story did not work any longer.
“Access to housing – not a house – is a basic human right. All the other rights – the right to water and ablution – come with it. It cannot be business as usual any longer.”
He said the reason why he brought this motion was not to expose or embarrass anybody.
“It’s to say, ‘Let us find the solution for the growing problem in the city of George’. If we move proactively we will find a common solution for all inhabitants in the city.”
SAC councillor Bazil Petrus asked for a holistic land and housing plan. He asked for a commitment to make funds available for a long-term plan.
“Let us be the leaders on this level, let us show leadership,” he said.