The eThekwini Municipality Executive Committee have outlined their plans to eradicate more than 40 years of housing backlog through its focus to find suitable and well located land to deliver houses and eradicate informal settlements and stop land invasions.

The report states that in order to address the current housing challenges, the Human Settlements Unit has identified various priority projects which require land acquisition for successful implementation. Over 700 properties are listed in the report.
EThekwini Municipality’s acting head of communications, Mandla Nsele, said, “The proposed project will provide service sites for the public to build their own houses as opposed to waiting for low cost housing to be built for them.
The strategic objective of these land acquisitions is to address the shortage of accommodation for people living within informal settlements and to address the housing backlog.”

According to the tabled report, the Real Estate and Human Settlement units will enter into negotiations with the respective property owners for the acquisition or expropriation of the land parcels which are listed in the report. “Once this has been undertaken, the Real Estate and Human Settlement units will proceed to obtain the required municipal and administrative approvals in respect of each property.

“The report states that the acquisition of the properties will be funded through the Urban Settlements Development Grant funding,” Nsele said.
The tabled report grants authority for the heads of the Real Estate and Human Settlements units to negotiate for the acquisition or expropriation of the properties subject to positive pre-screening and feasibilities.
Subject to the above and the approval of the Bid Adjudication Committee pursuant to successful negotiations, the heads of the Real Estate and Human Settlements units will be authorised to sign all the documents necessary to effect transfer of the properties to the Municipality.

The report goes on to state that in the event that appropriation is deemed necessary, the head of the Real Estate unit together with the head of the Human Settlements unit will be authorised to proceed with the expropriation of the properties, subject to the consent of the MEC of Human Settlements being sought for the expropriation and/or required consent in terms of section 190 of the Local Authorities Ordinance.

“The heads of the Real Estate and Human Settlement units will also be authorised to conclude the compensation agreements and sign all necessary documents to effect registration of the properties in favour of the municipality.
The head of legal services as well as the head of security management will be authorised to take all the necessary steps to protect the acquired properties and prevent unlawful invasion,” said Nsele.


“The heads of the Real Estate and Human Settlement units will also be authorised to conclude the compensation agreements and sign all necessary documents to effect registration of the properties in favour of the municipality.
The head of legal services as well as the head of security management will be authorised to take all the necessary steps to protect the acquired properties and prevent unlawful invasion,” said Nsele.

EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede welcomed the report saying it will move the city forward. Chairperson of the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Mondli Mthembu said they were moving away from the expectancy of building low cost housing and instead would give people sites on which to build their own houses.
He said people required access to land.

“If we make land available to people they can build their own homes which I am sure will be grander than a low cost house. This report aims to ensure that we maximise access to land for our people,” Cllr Mthembu said.