MEC commits to even housing split

Executive members of the New Woodlands Ratepayers Association and MEC for Human Settlements, Bonginkosi Madikizela, fourth from left.

After a number of public meetings, the MEC for Human Settlements, Bonginkosi Madikizela, made a commitment to residents that the housing allocation for the Southern Corridor housing development, part of which will be constructed in New Woodlands, will be split evenly between Kosovo and New Woodlands residents.

Over the past few months New Woodlands residents have been demanding answers about the development; voicing questions around housing allocation, job creation and safety.

The Southern Corridor housing development forms part of a mega housing development for residents of informal settlements along the N2 which also includes the airport precinct.

According to the provincial Department of Human Settlements, the New Woodlands part of the project should be completed by 2022, at a cost of
R1.5 billion, if all approvals were in place. The housing development will consist of an initial 800 units.

Mr Madikizela met with residents last Tuesday, September 26, at the Northwood community hall in New Woodlands to discuss the project, which is in its planning phase (“Housing MEC a no-show at meeting”, Plainsman, August 2).

Nathan Adriaanse, provincial department spokesperson, said the meeting was called by the New Woodlands Ratepayers’ Association after an invitation was extended to Mr Madikizela.

He said the invitation followed the last public meeting which was held on Tuesday July 26.

“Mr Madikizela was specifically asked to explain the thinking around the proposed development on Erf 694 which forms part of the broader Southern Corridor project of the Department of Human Settlements,” he said.

The department aims to submit a detailed land use application this month.

Kosovo informal settlement borders The Leagues opposite Heinz Park off New Eisleben Road and forms part of Ward 88.

It was previously part of Ward 33
(Parts of Philippi, – west of Weltevreden Valley Parkway, south of the railway line and east of Duinefontein Road and north of the Cape Flats Freeway- the R300).

The land identified for the housing development is in New Woodlands, in Ward 75 (Colorado Park, Highlands Village, Hyde Park, Morgen’s Village, New Woodlands, Philippi, Rondevlei Park; Weltevreden Valley, Westgate Mall, Wildwood and Woodlands), which forms part of Sub-council 23.

According to a December 2016 enumeration report by the provincial Department of Human Settlements, the settlement is located on 28.64 hectares of partly City-owned, partly privately-owned land with a population density of 212 dwelling units per hectare.

A total of 14 830 people make up 5 824 households in Kosovo.

Mr Adriaanse said all the Department of Human Settlements contracts had an agreed clause which stipulated that a certain percentage of the labour was sourced from the local community.

“Mr Madikizela was encouraged by the meeting and committed to bring other departments to the discussion in terms of other facilities which are needed in the development, the issue of schools, health care and social facilities is an area which cannot be discussed in isolation.

“Mr Madikizela stressed that this type of engagement is not considered a once off, but that we need to see more communities take ownership of developments within their communities,” he said.

When Plainsman questioned the department about construction dates, Mr Adriaanse said at this stage they could not confirm when construction will commence but could only do so once all planning approvals had been confirmed.

Ward 75 councillor Joan Woodman said Mr Madikizela had addressed the concerns raised by the residents regarding the development. “The site was presented as an option for the Southern Corridor project, and the community made it very clear that they are open to diversity and integration, but felt aggrieved in the manner in which this project was presented.

“Concerns were raised as to who will be contracted and whether there will be job creation for the community of New Woodlands. It was also requested by the community that all relevant role-players come to the party and have an input.”