Media statement on houses to the community of Bekkersdal
8 May 2011
Notwithstanding the challenges which are largely due to unavailability of suitable land to build more houses owing to dolomite, the Gauteng Local Government and Housing is still committed to provide houses to the community of Bekkersdal, West Rand.
Gauteng’s Local Government and Housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi told the residents of Bekkersdal during a visit to the area on Saturday. He also told the residents that Gauteng government had secured pockets of land which will accommodate approximately 10 000 residents. One such housing development is Droghuiwell which is expected to accommodate people from Bekkersdal, neighbouring residents of the Zenzele informal settlement and Mohlakeng.
The MEC has also confirmed that even the residents of the dilapidated local hostel would also benefit from a new development which he said will be made possible following collaboration between the Westonaria Municipality, Gauteng Local Government and Housing as well as Gold Fields Mining.
Bekkersdal, like Alexandra and Evaton, received and estimated R1.2 billion investment through Bekkersdal Urban Renewal Programme (BURP). This programme’s aim is to create integrated and sustainable communities. Also the programme aims to alleviate poverty by investing in social and economic infrastructure among others.
Implemented in 2003, the programme could not be concluded in five years and an extension was granted for additional three years. And since then the programme has seen the extensions and renovations of both the West and East clinics, upgrade of the Mulitpurpose Community Centre, Emergency Centre as well as upgrading of four parks.
Other key projects saw the relocation of approximately 350 shacks to the transit camp as well as the development of that camp. There was also extension of water network within the informal settlement as well as the upgrading of access roads into Bekkersdal.
Bekkersdal arguably has a high number of shacks than houses and this sometimes leads to residents getting impatient, said the MEC Mmemezi. “However, this doesn’t justify people destroying government property whenever they want to raise issues with government”. The MEC was referring to violent protests that took place in the area leaving 79 houses destroyed. But some of those houses have since been repaired and those that have not been repaired, the MEC said a committee has been set up to look into the matter.
But the MEC slammed members of the community who masquerade as leaders yet they are the ones at the forefront of violent protests that lead to the destruction of property. The MEC also acknowledged that waste removal remains a challenge. “As government we must render services we are supposed to render. Hence currently we have secured two waste trucks and the Westonaria Municipality has committed one”.
For further information contact:
Cell: 079 897 2240
Cell: on 083 602 5652
Source: Gauteng Local Government and Housing
Issued by: Gauteng Local Government and Housing
8 May 2011
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