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Home » Current affairs » Zandspruit development gets the go ahead

Zandspruit development gets the go ahead

Zandspruit, an informal settlement northwest of Johannesburg with an estimated 15 000 shacks, is to be developed into a formal human settlement consisting of more than 7 000 brick-and-mortar housing units.

This development was recently approved by the City of Johannesburg’s monthly council meeting after reviewing a report compiled by Member of the Mayoral Committee for Development Planning Councillor Rosslyn Greeff on the future of the area.

Zandspruit is one of a number of informal settlements recently visited by the City’s Mayoral Committee during the Bua Le Sechaba campaign, an initiative aimed at bringing it up to speed with the delivery of services in various informal settlements so corrective measures could be taken.

The total of 7 068 housing units to be developed will be divided as follows:

  • 1 068 rental units;
  • 1 050 finance-linked but subsidised housing units; and
  • 4 950 RDP houses

In her motion for the adoption of MMC Greeff’s report, Ward 114 Councillor Maureen Schneemann said the development of Zandspruit would bring hope to the informal settlement’s residents and unlock doors that had been closed.

“I welcome this report on behalf of families in Zandspruit. If I could sing better, I would ask you all to join me in singing the Hallelujah chorus. Those who have not been there and walked the streets of Zandspruit will have nothing to say. Those who do not value human dignity will have nothing to say.”

“Those who do not put the lives and dignity of our people first will have nothing to say. This step we are taking today indicates the City’s commitment to improving the lives of our people.

So many people in Zandspruit have lived in the city but have been excluded from benefiting in better living conditions and opportunities,” she said.

Opposing views

Councillor Vasco da Gama, leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) caucus in Johannesburg, opposed the motion, saying Executive Mayor Parks Tau had to negotiate with the Gauteng Provincial Government to fund the development.

Da Gama said the development of the area would cost the City about R2-billion. He added that it was not in the interest of the City to go ahead with the development. The meeting was adjourned for 20 minutes to allow the DA to caucus on the issue.

On the DA councillors’ return to the chamber, Da Gama told the meeting that his party was prepared to vote on an amended report. But African National Congress (ANC) councillors insisted on voting on the report without any amendments.

MMC Greeff said funding for the housing component development would be made available by the Gauteng Provincial Government as the area was outside the “urban development boundary”.

About Kgomotso Radiphochwa (Project Manager)

I am Kgomotso Radipochwa born and bred at Morokweng, Northwest Province. I am currently living in Cosmo City. I am co-founder and Director of Impilo Foundation and the current Project Manager for Zandspruit Citizen Journalism Project. Citizen journalism project is centred on empowering Zandspruit Community to research and report on issues that are important to citizens of immediate area, and that will support community development. The project aimed to promote participatory democracy within the community. I am currently a student at Monash South Africa, studying Bachelor in Social Science majoring in International Studies and I was Community liaison Officer for Monash South Africa Community Engagement. I also sit on Lensaria Development Networks Board of Directors. My personal philosophy about community development is to create opportunities to develop thinking community, deepen understanding and enable community member to take thoughtful action

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