ActionSA wants eThekwini’s neglected buildings to be converted into social housing
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DURBAN - HUMAN Settlements and Public Works MEC Jomo Sibiya said dilapidated government properties in eThekwini and the province were already being converted into social housing, while others were donated to communities for use.
The MEC was reacting to the ActionSA call to the government to do something about the buildings in eThekwini, which have been neglected for years. Sibiya said what ActionSA was calling for was something that his department had already started doing.
“You will recall that in marking my 100 days in office as MEC, I visited the said properties, together with the minister of Human Settlement Mmamaloko Kubayi in eThekwini to inspect the said properties. We took a decision that we must convert them into social housing and have donated others to emerging small businesses to use, like the one we handed over to an organisation run by people living with disabilities in eSikhawini near Empangeni. So the work to convert these properties have already started,” said the MEC.
Further, he said that minister Kubayi-Ngubane would be in eThekwini on Thursday to check on the progress of converting these properties and others in the province.
ActionSA eThekwini mayoral candidate Dr Makhosi Khoza visited several properties in the city on Tuesday and called on the government to turn them into social houses for middle-class and student accommodation.
Khoza slammed the government for keeping the buildings unused for years, adding that some of them have been hijacked by foreigners who allegedly turned them into drug dens and brothels.
She said the buildings were costing taxpayers a lot as they are always guarded by a security company, which was being paid millions of rand while the buildings were empty with the lights on.
Khoza said after taking over as the mayor, she would want all government buildings under Public Works to be handed over to the municipality so that they would be well maintained.
One of the buildings she and her team visited was the Esplanade Government Building on Stalwart Simelane, which has been neglected for years. The building was used by Social Development while it was still called Welfare some years ago and has been guarded by a private security company.
“I know there are buildings under Public Works which the municipality has no control over, which is why we want them to be put under the municipality. This would help because the municipality would utilise them for social houses for the middle class. These buildings have been neglected for years, and its a wonder how the city can attract tourists in a city where buildings have been occupied by vagrants who are mugging people,” said Khoza.
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