Minister Simmers engages Masiphumelele residents
While interacting with some of the residents that have taken occupancy of their emergency structures in Masiphumelele, it was pleasing to note that residents are happy to be back in their own homes.
During December, a devastating fire destroyed approximately 1 100 informal homes, and to date, 400 emergency structures have been constructed, while 321 have been handed over to the fire victims. The balance of 79 will be handed over this week, while the construction of more units on the sports field will also commence in the coming week.
The construction of these structures commenced late in January and thus far the primary water line has been re-instated within the newly demarcated access tracks, 32 chemical toilets have been delivered and installed, with a further 40 to be delivered this week. There are also 16 standpipes in the area, so that residents do have access to water. A fence on the wetland boundary has also been erected, so that the wetland is protected, while ensuring houses are not flooded during the winter rainy season
Through our collaborative partnership with the National Department of Human Settlements Water and Sanitation (NDoHSWS), the City of Cape Town (CoCT) and the Housing Development Agency (HDA), we’ve been able to assist these residents and our commitment and is to continue doing so, as we want to ensure that all those affected by this disaster have access to these temporary shelters.
It is important to once again point out that this is only temporary shelter. We’ve commenced with statutory processes, and upon conclusion we will commence with long term housing solutions for the most vulnerable and qualifying residents, by providing permanent shelter through the use of Sustainable Building Technology (SBT’s).
I’d like to once again express my sincere gratitude to those community leaders and members who have been assisting us in ensuring that the process to deliver and erect these units is running smoothly.
One of the recipients of an emergency structure, Ms Gcinalitshane Nosicelo, whose husband recently passed away said: “I am happy and sad, because we have a home again, but my husband is not here. The house is very nice, and my children and I will make this place comfortable for us. I’m also looking forward to when we will receive our permanent homes.”