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Free State prioritises informal settlement upgrades

───   KEKELETSO MOSEBETSI 09:00 Wed, 30 Mar 2022

Free State prioritises informal settlement upgrades | News Article

The Free State Department of Human Settlements has prioritised the issue of informal settlement upgrades and the provision of housing.

This MEC Mxolisi Dukwana said the government is currently implementing 35 projects, covering 43 informal settlements, which include town planning and installation of internal infrastructure throughout the Free State province. 

While delivering his budget speech in the Provincial Legislature on Tuesday, Dukwana said that his predecessor, MEC Mamiki Koloi, had previously reported that the Free State Government is at an advanced stage of formalising informal settlements in areas such as Marikana and Palamenteng in the Mantsopa Local Municipality and Vergenoeg in the Nala Local Municipality, amongst others.

Also read: Free State informal settlement upgrades on the cards

In July 2020, OFM News reported that Koloi had raised concerns over the mushrooming of informal settlements within the province, which at that stage already had 161 informal settlements.

"For the 2022/23 financial year, we have committed to completing 2 191 housing units across the province at a cost of R311 078 560. Our Community Residential Units (CRU) programme is not moving at the desired pace as we had anticipated as a department. To date, we have only completed 516 units against our Medium Term Financial Strategy target of 1 540. This is mainly in relation to our three projects; Dark and Silver City in Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, as well as the G-Hostel in the Matjhabeng Local Municipality," added Dukwana.

Also read: Tensions brew over Bloemfontein housing issues

Meanwhile the impoverished citizens who have called Caleb Motshabi (also known as “Dinaweng”) their temporary home for some time, watched helplessly as “strangers” allegedly scored housing sites ahead of them at the Klipfontein Farm across from the R702 road, which merges into the M3, despite not being on the list. The Mangaung Metro had purchased the farm to ensure that residents who have built shacks on top of major Bloem Water pipelines that endanger their lives, can be legally assigned to safer sites.

Also read: Minister to resolve lingering FS housing issues

OFM News reported that the Minister of Human Settlements, Mmamoloko Kubayi, had vowed to deal with lingering issues of housing and subsidies in Mangaung. She had acknowledged that the department  received a report of unfinished projects and as a result, many residents are left stranded after being placed on the waiting list. Kubayi had also said that the department will have to reallocate some of the money of unfinished projects in Mangaung so that residents get their houses.

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