Plans to upgrade and develop Endlovini informal settlement, in Khayelitsha, are under way, with at least 250 housing units planned for the initial phase of the project.
Ground work, including excavation, has already begun on a piece of land adjacent to False Bay College.
This is the first step towards the development of one of Khayelitsha’s poorest and most underprivileged communities.
The area, situated along Mew Way, next to Harare, is one of the oldest informal settlements in Khayelitsha with minimal community resources. Through the project, government hopes to eradicate all the shacks in the area by 2021.
Ward 98 councillor Anele Gabuza said six development sites had been identified and approved for the area and the land in Endlovini was among them.
According to Mr Gabuza they had an agreement with the residents of Endlovini that some backyarders from Ilitha Park would also benefit from the allocation of houses.
As part of the development, he said, some Endlovini residents would be moved to make way for the construction.
Mr Gabuza emphasised that senior citizens and people with disabilities would be considered first for allocation on condition they were registered for housing. He urged people to check their names on the housing list to eliminate unnecessary confusion and fights.
He said development of the area was long overdue and that most new areas were making significant progress while Endlovini lagged behind.
Mr Gabuza said development for the area had been largely hindered by resistance from Ilitha Park residents who felt such development would “devalue” their properties.
However, he said, he was excited that the City finally gave the go-ahead.
He added that in Harare they had identified a development site where they would build gap houses to accommodate people who earned between R3 500 and R15 000 a month. These people do not qualify for the housing subsidy, and often earn too little to to quality for a bond at the bank.
As part of the agreement, they pay monthly rental for a period of time and eventually take ownership of the houses.
Mr Gabuza said several housing projects were expected to run simultaneously.
“We want to better the living conditions of our people. We are going to turn Endlovini into a beautiful area. This area has been ignored for so many years, but I’m grateful that the residents have been waiting patiently and there is not a single day that they protested about service delivery,” he said.
Endlovini resident Fuzile Yilo said he hoped the development would take place soon. The 26-year-old said he was glad that they would consider young people as well when the houses were allocated.
He said his mother was unable to live with him permanently because the conditions were not suitable for her.