Share this article

Emotions as shack dwellers move into new City homes


The Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Housing in the City of Johannesburg allocated newly built low-cost house in Kliptown at a moving handover ceremony at the Soweto Hotel today (Wednesday July 30).

Mbali Tshazi moments after she received the keys to a newly built low-cost house in Kliptown said, “My mother has sadly passed on but wherever she is, she’s happy I now have a house I can confidently call home.

Tshazi, whose mother Priscilla died before she could realise her dream of owning her own home, was one of more than 100 Soweto residents who were moved from shacks into brick-and-mortar homes under the Kliptown Urban Renewal Programme. The 100 represent another round of housing beneficiaries in the area over the past few months. In February this year Executive Mayor Cllr Parks Tau handed over house keys to more than 60 shack dwellers in the area.

The programme, which started in 2005, is aimed at clearing the Greater Kliptown area of informal settlements and providing residents with formal housing. It was with mixed emotions that Tshazi accepted the keys from MMC Bovu.

“We lived in a shack for 24 years with my mother. That is where I grew up. However, she did not live long enough to realise her dream of owning her own home. But I know she’s happy wherever she is,” said Tshazi.

About 555 houses have already been built in the area under the programme. Another beneficiary, Mamaila Hlungwani, who has lived in the area for more than 27 years, said she was delighted that her troubles were finally over.

“I’m beyond grateful that now in my old age I’m getting a brand new house. My hope is that others who reside in shacks will also be moved to these beautiful houses,” she said.

MMC Bovu said this had been a long time coming.

“We want to eradicate informal settlements in Johannesburg. This is also part of the Mandela month gesture. We really want to give our people the dignity they deserve,” Cllr Bovu said.

The newly built houses, in Kliptown Extension 11, will accommodate beneficiaries from several informal settlements around Greater Klptown, Charter Square and Angola.
Preference is given to vulnerable groups, particularly the elderly