Residents angry over Mamelodi’s R64K ‘temporal units’

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. Photo: Chantall Presence / ANA

Human settlements, water and sanitation minister Lindiwe Sisulu had said in May that building such structures in the area was a much faster process than building a normal house.

The Mamelodi “temporal residents unit” have caused outrage among residents due to its pricing with each structure costing R64,000.

With the project being led by the housing development agency (HDA) and the City of Tshwane metro, the 1,000 units were expected to reduce the numbers of residents at the Mamelodi hostels, which remains overcrowded.

This also comes in light of the 44-shack project in Tubatse, Limpopo, of which each house cost R64,000, was handed over to beneficiaries on 31 July.

The project also received criticism from annoyed beneficiaries, residents and different political formations.

Meanwhile, Mamelodi resident Apson Makaung said the anger among residents was due to the fact that many South Africans with no or little income have been waiting on government to deliver quality and better housing for years.

“At the beginning, they were given the RDP houses. These shacks, however, are a serious insult to us. This is not even in line with the Kliptown resolution that says there shall be houses, security and comfort for all.”

READ MORE: Limpopo RDP houses ‘fall apart’ after storm

Kgobisi Mahlase, who has been living at the Mamelodi hostels for more than 15 years, said it would not make sense if residents move “from a proper house into a shack” and argued that residents did not know much about the development because they were never consulted.

Human settlements, water and sanitation minister Lindiwe Sisulu had said in May that building such structures in the area was a much faster process than building a normal house.

“For this reason, government decided to build the temporal residents’ unit structures during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“They are fast to build, so you can have a place to live in quicker,” Sisulu said during her visit to inspect the structures at Mamelodi hostels.

HDA acting manager of communication and marketing Katlego Moselakgomo said the housing development agency identified, acquired, prepared and developed suitable land for human settlements.

“It also undertakes the programme and project management for the development of housing and human settlements,” said Moselakgomo.

He said the structures catered for a wide range of emergencies when it came to housing needs, including situations where people lived in dangerous environments that posed immediate threats to life, health and safety.

ALSO READ: More outrage over Limpopo’s ‘R64,000’ shacks

“The national department of human settlements, in consultation with the provinces and metropolitan municipalities, identified informal settlements and other areas considered to be overcrowded or dense, in which residents were vulnerable to Covid-19.

“The temporal residents’ unit structures were, therefore, an integral part of the department of human settlement’s de-densification programme aimed at de-congesting informal settlements and providing relief to residents who are being relocated.”

Moselakgomo said the construction schedule was on course.

“In the absence of any foreseeable disruptions, the project should be completed by the end of September 2020, and eligible beneficiaries will be relocated soon thereafter.”

He said each structure in Mamelodi had a minimum lifespan of 15 years.

“It can, however, last up to 99 years. The preferred option for the provision of these structures is the supply of prefabricated units which could, after being used be dismantled, reassembled and stored for re-use.”

This article first appeared on Rekord and was republished with permission.

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