Cheers as mayor says home pro­ject restarts

Stalled pro­ject be­came a haven for crim­i­nals

Daily Dispatch - - News - By MAMELA GOWA

THE grue­some dis­cov­ery of two fe­male bod­ies near an in­com­plete Mdantsane hous­ing pro­ject in June has pushed Buf­falo City Metro to restart the work after an­gry res­i­dents blamed the crime on the stalled con­struc­tion.

Re­sump­tion of work on the NU6 hous­ing pro­ject was an­nounced yes­ter­day by mayor Xola Pakati at a may­oral im­bizo in Mdantsane.

The bod­ies were found by res­i­dents while they were chas­ing a sus­pected rapist they be­lieved had raped a school­girl in one of the un­fin­ished houses.

Pakati told a large crowd at the NU6 sports field: “The Dalux­olo hous­ing pro­ject is now pro­gress­ing, we are fix­ing the houses.”

Ward 11 and ward 20 res­i­dents af­fected by the killings wel­comed the news.

The Daily Dis­patch re­ported in June that the Jo­han­nes­burg-based Siyavuna Trad­ing com­pany was awarded a R163.7-mil­lion ten­der in 2014 to build 908 houses.

The con­tract was later cut to R62mil­lion for 266 houses in Dalux­olo, Sisulu, Win­nie Man­dela, Fran­cis Meli, Hani Park, Mahlangu, Gwentshe and Math­emba Vuso.

The pro­ject was sched­uled for com­ple­tion in April 2016, but came to a stand­still.

Ward 20 res­i­dent Noz­izwe On­dala said: “Once the con­struc­tion is done, I am plead­ing that ben­e­fi­cia­ries oc­cupy their houses be­cause the houses are van­dalised and stripped.”

Un­like last year’s im­bizo, Pakati and his team re­ceived good feed­back from res­i­dents con­cern­ing some of the projects BCM had com­pleted, in­clud­ing bridges, roads and elec­tric­ity in­stal­la­tions in some in­for­mal set­tle­ments.

How­ever, com­plaints about un­em­ploy­ment, lack of sport de­vel­op­ments, hous­ing and bad roads were still raised.

Ward 30 res­i­dent Gcinikhaya Bali said the metro should take away ward coun­cil­lors’ power to em­ploy peo­ple in ward-based projects as this dis­ad­van­taged thou­sands of res­i­dents who were not cho­sen by the coun­cil­lors for the jobs.

The large crowd ap­plauded Bali in agree­ment.

Last year Pakati told res­i­dents that the metro had put aside R2.6mil­lion to up­grade the Mdantsane swim­ming pool in NU2, but a year later no work has started at the pool and Pakati did not men­tion any progress in the pro­ject.

Ward 42 res­i­dent Nonku­l­uleko Sit­hole lam­basted Pakati for not say­ing any­thing about the pool this year.

“We were told work would start in July but un­til now noth­ing has been done. We want to know what is hap­pen­ing to the pool up­grade as that should be the town­ship’s trea­sure,” said Sit­hole.

Res­i­dents from Non­dula in­for­mal set­tle­ment in NU1, who have stayed in shacks since 1992, called on Pakati to de­liver houses for them, while res­i­dents from Smil­ing Val­ley com­plained of bad roads, lack of elec­tric­ity and un­re­solved land own­er­ship in the area.

In re­sponse to all the griev­ances and com­ments Pakati said the may­oral team would en­gage with ward coun­cil­lors about the is­sues raised, and that the ward coun­cil­lors would re­port back to the com­mu­ni­ties.

But the crowd shouted in dis­agree­ment, say­ing they did not want to be ad­dressed by ward coun­cil­lors.

Pakati said an al­ter­na­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion route would have to be sug­gested by the res­i­dents to BCM. —

Pic­ture: FILE

FLASH­BACK: The scene where two women’s bod­ies were found among the houses left un­fin­ished in NU6 Mdantsane, which was said to have be­come a haven for crim­i­nals. BCM has now restarted the pro­ject.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.