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City’s homeless - A step closer to their dream homes

 

Although 68-year-old grandmother Betsy Chauke applied for a subsidised council house almost 20 years ago, she is still hopeful she will soon have a place she can call home.
Gogo Chauke, who lives in a backyard room in Ruimsig, was one of hundreds of Johannesburg residents who turned up for the launch of the 96/97 Housing Waiting List Verification Campaign in Region C yesterday.

Chauke said she was excited about the 96/97 campaign and was looking forward to having her status on the housing waiting list “verified”.

“I applied in 1996 and am so excited. I live in a back room and have dreamt about having my own home for so long. It’s now seemingly happening and it’s very exciting. I’m going to wait for the field workers to make sure they tick my name,” she said.

From July 1, City of Johannesburg’s fieldworkers, dressed in distinctly identifiable yellow t-shirts, will visit residents on the 96/97 waiting list in the region. The exercise, which seeks to update and whittle down the list and address corruption, will take four months to complete.

The campaign was successfully piloted in Region D, which comprises large parts of Soweto, early last year. Phase 1 – which was successfully carried out in regions A, E and F – was completed at the end of May this year. The campaign is now in phase 2, which came on stream last week when it was launched in Region B. The phase will also cover Region G and will run until the end of October.

Speaking at the Donovan MacDonald Community Hall in Maraisburg, on the West Rand yesterday, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Housing Clr Dan Bovu encouraged all those who had been registered on the housing waiting list to come forward.

“We need this information for our database, which will be used to link applicants to available housing units and future housing developments,” MMC Bovu said.

“I appeal to residents to avail their documents and not to try to buy places in the queue. Please do not buy what we are not selling,” he said.

The exercise is, however, not exclusive to those who applied in 1996 and 1997, although these applicants will be given priority when houses are allocated.

The MMC gave details of a number of housing developments in the pipeline. He said these were some of the areas where applicants on the 96/97 housing waiting list would be settled.

The City has already started allocating homes to applicants in various housing developments such as Fleurhof and Lufhereng, both on the West Rand.

MMC Bovu also revealed, to thunderous applause, that several homeless residents in Davidsonville would within the next two months be moved to Fleurhof.

Campaign Project Manager Thulani Nkosi said priority would be given to people with disabilities, the aged, child-headed households and military veterans when houses are allocated.

Residents are urged to report any suspected fraudulent activities to the City’s Housing Department by calling anti-corruption toll free hotline number 0800 00 25 87, sending an SMS to 32840 at R1.50 an SMS or an email to anti-corruption@tip-offs.com.