7600 shack-owners housed

The last of about 7600 shack-dwellers who had formerly occupied land needed for the Khayelitsha rail extension project in the Enkanini informal settlement have now moved to their own serviced sites, the City of Cape Town said on Wednesday.

The R40-million project which was started in 2005 and took five years to complete converted 29 hectares of "barren, sandy" land into 1526 formal sites. It was necessary for the shack-dwellers to be relocated urgently to make way for the extension of the Khayelitsha rail line, the City said in a statement.

"The upgrade of this informal settlement was unique in that the community gave their full co-operation for a double occupation system during the first phase. "This meant that two families had to share one plot until the entire area had been upgraded," mayoral committee member for housing Shehaam Sims said.

Basic services were upgraded in the area with each 108 metre site having its own enclosed toilet with wash trough and tap.Sims said Eskom was looking at installing individual pre-paid electricity meters with ready-boards early next year. The area was named Zwelitsha which was Xhosa for "new hope" and had been proclaimed a township.

Residents would soon be given full title, providing them with security of tenure, she said.Space had also been created for the building of creches, schools, churches and other community facilities. A community spokesperson was not immediately available.

Article by: www.iafrica.com