Thirteen years after making way for World Cup, Durban residents still waiting for houses

But the eThekwini Municipality says its still busy verifying beneficiaries

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Zamile Sosibo stands outside one of the houses at the Isipingo transitional emergency accommodation in Durban. Sosibo was among about 200 residents who received an RDP house last month. Photos: Tsoanelo Sefoloko

Over 200 residents living at the Isipingo transitional emergency accommodation (TEA), south of Durban, protested on Thursday, demanding that the eThekwini Municipality relocate them to RDP houses.

Public order police were called to disperse the group who had blocked the main road with burning tyres.

According to residents, only some of the expected beneficiaries were relocated to proper houses. Most of the people living at the Isipingo TEA were moved there from different communities by the government ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup as well as victims of subsequent natural disasters.

On 28 June, the Minister of Human Settlements, Mmamoloko Kubayi, Deputy Minister Pam Tshwete, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works, Sipho Nkosi and eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda attended an event where about 200 houses in the Kanku Road project in Ward 90 were handed over to qualifying members from the community.

In March this year, Minister Kubayi had made an undertaking to the households at Isipingo that she was going to return to the area to hand over the completed project. But a further 160 families have still not been relocated.

Zamile Sosibo, who was among the Isipingo residents who received a house last month, told GroundUp that they have been waiting three weeks for the government to give them a proper explanation for why some people were left behind. “I couldn’t sleep comfortably knowing that some people are still experiencing the cold weather and the flooding [at the TEA],” said Sosibo.

Dolly Manganyela, who was among those not relocated, said she was moved to the TEA in 2009 and was told that it would only be for six months, but they’re still there 14 years later. “I don’t blame them for protesting because the minister told me that I have a house number. I even wrote it down. But now it has been three weeks without any explanation for why we are still here,” said Manganyela.

Head of Communications at eThekwini Municipality Lindiwe Khuzwayo said there have been attempts to illegally move into the empty houses at Kanku Road. “We have a strict verification process, making sure that we screen every person before being allocated to the house. The houses are guarded by security to prevent invasion.”

Khuzwayo said more people will be moved as each verification process is completed.

The Kanku Road project in Ward 90 where most of the Isipingo residents are being moved to.

TOPICS:  Housing

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