Smanga Kumalo— There was jubilance at Sweetwaters and Thulamntwana in Kanana Park extension 3, South of Johannesburg today when Jacob Zuma handed over houses to the people as promised. He visited these two places as part of Siyahlola Presidential Monitoring Programme.
He handed over more than 200 newly built houses. This follows after he had previously visited the areas in 2010 and found residents living in uninhabitable conditions.
Zuma was accompanied by some of his Ministers including Collins Chabane, Richard Baloyi, Edna Molewa, Malusi Gigaba, Kota Fredericks, Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, MEC Ntombi Mekgwe and others.
“I am very pleased with the progress that government has made in delivering services to these communities since my first visit here in 2010. I am particularly impressed by the new houses. The last time I came here people were living in unacceptable conditions. The plans of the provincial and local government here indicate that this is going to be one of the best areas to live in,” he explained.
Zuma added by saying the cooperation between the City of Johannesburg, the Gauteng Provincial Government and national government has also been very exemplary. “It is proof that if we work together, we can achieve more in less time,” he said.
Through this housing project, 3101 houses are being built, 1 793 of which are government subsidized housing units, 756 social-rental units, and 552 bonded units.
Apparently the City of Johannesburg, in partnership with the Department of Local Government and Housing in Gauteng, began to provide houses for the people from these areas through the Kanana Park Housing Development which was already in progress.
The Kanana Park housing development project is located on Portion 3 of the Farm Cyferfontein of some 147, 78 hectares owned by the Gauteng Provincial Government.
It is believed the project will further incorporate the informal settlements of Doornkuil and Bhekaphambili, in addition to Thulamntwana and Sweetwaters areas.
At the completion of the entire human settlement, it is intended that the area will also have parks, two sports grounds, two primary schools and a high school, a clinic and a commercial and light industrial site.
According to Zuma, “this development” will result in a mixed land use and mixed income settlement that will provide its residents with access to community facilities, economic opportunities and transport linkages to the immediate surrounding areas.
Other plans for the south Johannesburg region including proposals about linking the area to the city by routing the Bus Rapid Transit through to the area.
It is expected that by the end of September 2012, 1000 houses will have been completed which will see more people being moved from the informal settlements to the new houses.
During the President’s interaction with the community, members of the community raised a number of issues, including the prioritization of persons with disabilities when allocating houses as well as the provision of basic services like water, geysers, electricity and others in the Mountain View and Fine Town nearby informal settlements.