Mixed housing plan for dolomite areas

Monday, September 8, 2014

Pretoria – Gauteng MEC of Human Settlements and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Jacob Mamabolo, says a mixed housing plan will be ideal for areas affected by dolomite.

The impact of dolomite, an underground soil condition, on housing developments in Gauteng continues to create high tensions between local government and communities, especially in areas earmarked for relocation, resulting in loss of trust.

Mixed-housing development is an innovative approach to housing delivery and provides a mixture of housing products to suit those in the low-income, middle-­income and high-income groups.

A total of 66 informal settlements in Ekurhuleni are currently located in areas not suitable for development and were earmarked for relocation.

MEC Mamabolo on Sunday met with the residents of the Somalia informal settlement, near Vosloorus. The MEC used the meeting to engage with the community of Ekurhuleni on how housing plans will be affected by dolomite.

MEC Mamabolo noted that in Somalia, residents have rejected initial scientific reports and relocation plans insisting on being accommodated in the area.

During a meeting, the MEC officially confirmed the existence of dolomite but indicated that according to geo-technical reports, certain portions of the area could be developed for higher density residential accommodation.

“An investigation was conducted to establish whether the land was dolomitic and if the department can be able to build houses. The report showed that there is dolomite but there are parts of the land where we can build.

“A mixed housing plan will be ideal for the area, which will include building higher densities and also including commercial developments which will also promote the township economy,” the MEC said.

He said the land-owner will submit building plans which will inform them on how to build for residents in the area as well as how to ensure that such buildings do not place the safety of residents at risk.

He also added that the department must also, in consultation with the community leadership be able to understand why the community is opposed to flats and prefer the standard RDP housing and yards.

This follows objections from some residents, who are against the idea of building flats in the area. The residents complained that flats did not offer privacy.

In response to this, MEC Mamabolo highlighted to residents that Gauteng was one of the smallest provinces in the country and had a large population.

“To add to that we are faced with the problem of dolomite and as government we have to find innovative ways of providing homes to everyone. An audit of all households will also be verified and new shacks will not be allowed in the area.”

As part of Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s commitment, MEC Mamabolo said the department will work together to revitalise township economy in the area. – SAnews.gov.za

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