LIGHT AT END OF TUNNEL FOR PLASTIC VIEW FOLK
THE Pretoria News on October 8 published an article on the front page under the headline “Why does the mayor have to plead for donations?”
The article questions why I, as the Executive Mayor of Tshwane, had to plead for donations following the fire at Plastic View.
According to the article, 1 500 people were left homeless.
I sympathise with all the affected residents, and assistance was immediately given to all those in need.
The plight of the hundreds of residents left without shelter or bare essentials prompted me to call on the community at large to lend a hand.
Fires in informal settlements are a huge problem.
But the City has put various measures in place to deal with this.
This includes, but is not limited to, the construction of the top structures, upgrade of bulk services and reticulation of services in the 2019/20 budget and subsequent years.
It is clear from the shack-marking and beneficiary registration process that the majority of residents fall outside the prescripts as stipulated in the housing code.
The City will engage all relevant stakeholders, including the Department of Home Affairs, to provide due relief to all foreign nationals not falling within the category as set out in the housing code and all other applicable legislation.
The City has limited resources at its disposal, and its primary responsibility is towards South African citizens.
It is therefore incumbent upon Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba to work together and assist us with undocumented foreign nationals.
This issue falls squarely within his jurisdiction.
His failure to act in this regard will put further strain on the already overstretched resources of the municipalities.
The City is open to people from across the continent and the world at large.
But the national government is duty-bound to ensure that all people enter, live in and leave the country legally.
No country or city can efficiently and equitably allocate resources without knowing how many people live within its borders.
In any event, we have appointed the service provider to establish a mixed residential township, to be known as Pretorius Park Extension 40.
This is for a portion of the Remainder of Portion 284 of the Farm Garsfontein
374-JR, measuring 6.4 hectares, and located east of the Woodlands Shopping Centre.
The development site has, among other things, been identified as a resettlement area to accommodate the beneficiaries from Plastic View informal settlement.
The Final Basic Assessment Report for Environmental Authorisation was submitted to the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on September 12.
It is expected to conclude the application within 107 days after the submission.
In short, the decision is expected from the department during January
We are using the existing environmental impact assessment forum to persuade the department to expedite the approval process.
In line with the above, we have also conducted the shack-marking and beneficiary registration process.
A total of 853 families reside in Plastic View informal settlement.
This DA-led administration remains committed to prioritising equitable and fair access to a range of housing solutions and providing families with a safe living environment.