780 houses to be built in Thornhill, starting in 2019
IN the wake of escalating land and housing protests by residents of New Rest informal settlement, Ndlambe Municipality has unveiled an action plan for the provision of 780 houses at Thornhill, as well as other housing projects around Ndlambe.
This followed emergency meetings with the provincial department of human settlements. The plan and timeline was drawn up by head of department at Eastern Cape human settlements Gaster Sharpley.
The actual building of houses at Thornhill will start in 2019.
Sharpley said in his report that Ndlambe had “enjoyed priority from the provincial department of human settlements for the past five years”.
He said the result of the intervention was a state-of-the-art multipurpose centre at Thornhill and “several quality housing projects”.
The municipality still needs to confirm a report that there is sufficient bulk water for the 780 units planned
Sharpley said the intended mega-project of Thornhill was interrupted by the non-availability of bulk water, and the municipality still needs to confirm a report that there is sufficient bulk water for the 780 units planned.
“Furthermore, there is a need for the municipality to conclude the layout plan, EIA, the general plan and the township establishment,” he said.
Parallel to this, the municipality needs to verify the beneficiaries for the project with a bias towards the destitute, vulnerable and disabled, child-headed households and the elderly. Consideration must also be given to backyard shack-dwellers.
“It is advisable that the municipality screens the beneficiaries and allocates land close to the development,” Sharpley said.
The beneficiary lists must be approved by council and sent to the department of human settlements for verification. The process is expected to take 18 months, with the provincial departmental procurement processes thereafter an additional estimated 12 months.
Ndlambe has to terminate a development agreement with Absa Devco
Ndlambe has to terminate a development agreement with Absa Devco, which built the first 500 homes at Thornhill a few years ago.
The plan indicates an approved budget of R4.5-million for pre-planning for the 780 units at Thornhill, which will include surveys, layout plans and an EIA.
At Kenton, 171 units have been completed and 91 are in various stages, out of a total 564 homes, with a budget of R84.6-million. The estimated completion date is April next year.
In Alexandria, 357 units were completed out of a planned 377 until the project stalled after funding ran out. An additional R2-million is required to complete 12 half-built homes and another eight new homes.
There is also a pending project to build 120 homes in Nemato, but the municipality has been told to withdraw the names of proposed beneficiaries so that the project can benefit the needy.
At Bushman’s River, 240 homes have been completed out of a planned 269, also due to funding problems. The municipality was the developer in the project but it will revert to province.
Another 500 homes are planned for Marselle, as well as an old age home at an undisclosed location.
All rectification projects have stopped in favour of funding new projects
Sharpley said areas like Alexandria, Klipfontein, Bathurst and other areas have no promising projects because of bulk infrastructure challenges with water, sanitation and electricity.
Rectification projects that were requested by the municipality were assessed by the National Home-Builders Registration Council but could not be implemented due to government budget constraints in a weak economy.
“In compliance with the national directive and sector resolution, all rectification projects have stopped in favour of funding new projects for needy beneficiaries,” Sharpley said.