Backyard dwellers shut down projects over fears of losing out on housing

TOILET TOWN: Ngunguluza backyard dwellers are calling for houses in this area Picture: YOLISWA SOBUWA
TOILET TOWN: Ngunguluza backyard dwellers are calling for houses in this area
Picture: YOLISWA SOBUWA

KwaNobuhle backyard dwellers have shut down two municipal projects in their ward because they are not being allocated RDP housing from a nearby development.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality built 300 toilets in Ward 45 last year but has yet to start building the RDP houses.

The backyard dwellers believe that only three of them will get houses from the R25-million project.

But acting municipal human settlements executive director Luthando Mabhoza said 30 houses would be given to backyard dwellers.

“Only 10% of the project can be allocated to the backyard dwellers in Ward 45,” Mabhoza said.

“The rest will be shared by people to be moved to that area. In Ward 45, they want the whole project to be allocated to [residents].”

He said human settlements officials had met the backyard dwellers to explain the 10% allocation.

“We [will have] another meeting with the residents to try to [explain] how the process works.”

More homes would be built after the first 300 houses were completed, but is not clear when construction will start on the first phase.

This also angered the backyard dwellers, who have stopped work on the Langa Massacre grave site revamp and the development of a recreational park.

A backyard dweller, who did not want to be named, said their plight was being ignored.

“Only three people from this ward have been approved for houses. “The municipal people are telling us that they will prioritise people [aged] over 40.”

She said some of the toilets had already been vandalised.

“Now they want to spend money fixing them instead of building us houses.”

ANC ward councillor Simphiwo Plaatjies said: “We are all concerned about what is happening, but next week the representatives of human settlements will be here to resolve the problems.”

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