A total of 1082 families from Harry’s Farm, Firehouse and Saturam Informal settlements in Tongaat are set to benefit from a R120 million Emona Sunhill Housing Development launched by Mayor Zandile Gumede.
Gumede was accompanied by Chairperson of the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee Chairperson Councillor Mondli Mthembu and various oThongathi councillors, addressed Ward 61 residents.
Speaking to one of the residents of Firehouse informal settlement, 32-year-old Bhekumuzi Mzizi, he said,”I am very excited to be listed as one of the families that will benefit from this project, I have lived in a shack for five years and the living conditions are not always friendly as we get severely damaged during heavy rains.”
Mayor Gumede also introduced the appointed contractor Stedone Development that has begun construction on site to implement civil work which includes earthworks for platforms, earthworks for the roads and asphalt roads, sewer and water reticulation. The contractor has committed to look for expertise like bricklaying and pipe laying in the community.
The housing development will be undertaken in phases, with Phase 1 consisting of 250 units and the project is expected to be completed in 12 months.
“This community has waited patiently for the housing development to begin and this was due to studies that had to be done before any construction work could begin. Now that the studies have been finalised and we are pleased with the outcome, we are giving this project the green light. During the construction of this housing project, employment opportunities will be created for the residents,” said Gumede.
After the civil work is complete, the top structure which is the construction of the houses and connection to services will commence. To ensure that residents have an adequate supply of water, an upgrade of a reservoir will be done while the project is under construction.
During the launch, Councillor Mthembu said Council was aware of the challenges facing residents in the various oThongathi informal settlements. “We will prioritise basic services like electricity for this community. We commit to convening another meeting with the City’s Electricity Unit and residents to discuss plans of electrification,” he said.