The City of Johannesburg has set aside R270 million over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period to develop bulk infrastructure and provide housing in the Greater Kliptown area.
Between March and November next year, more than 600 families will become the beneficiaries of RDP houses in the area, says Region D Director Thulani Nkosi.
“A contractor is currently on site in Klipspruit Extension 6 and is scheduled to complete 111 RDP houses by March next year. Two contractors have already been selected to start work in Extension 11 for the provision of high-density housing.
“After the City has finalised the establishment of bulk infrastructure, such as roads and storm water drains, the two contractors will start work in earnest to build 555 single and double-storey houses in Extension 11,” Nkosi says.
The City will be advertising the turnkey tender for the Klipspruit extension 7 Which will produce about 2000 RDP houses which will commence by the next financial year.
Potential beneficiaries from extensions 6 and have of late been reporting at the City’s Central Camp Offices in Diepkloof to have their personal details verified “so we can start the process of applying for housing subsidies for them and allocate them the houses”, says Nkosi.
Kliptown is Soweto’s oldest residential area. It was established in 1891 on a farm called Klipspruit, named after the nearby Klipspruit (rocky stream). By 1903, it had already developed into an informal settlement. But today it is made up of RDP and subsidised housing settlements.
It is in the same area where the Freedom Charter was adopted on June 26 1955.
On that day, more than 3 000 representatives of resistance organisations from around the country gathered to ratify the charter. Today, the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication – as it is now called – is one of Soweto’s major tourist attractions.
Johannesburg Member of the Mayoral Committee for Housing Cllr Dan Bovu says the City has mobilised funding and resources for the development and rejuvenation of Greater Kliptown as part of a poverty-alleviation strategy.
“When building commences in Extension 11, about 200 people from the local communities will be employed. We hope the residents will use the newly acquired skills to land permanent jobs in the construction industry in the future.”
“It is also worth noting that housing is one of people’s fundamental rights and, as a way of addressing it, the City is in the process of creating a high-density development for Greater Kliptown which, on completion, will boast RDP and affordable rental housing units for hundreds of our residents,” MMC Bovu says.
One of the main challenges the City faces, however, is the lack of land.
Nkosi says the problem is compounded by the fact that there are at present 14 informal settlements in the Greater Kliptown area.
"As a way of working around the challenge, vacant land will be developed first and allocate residents occupying land that will be developed next. This will assist in making land available for development. The residents will be allocated in RDP"