Tokyo Sexwale Launches Klarinet Integrated Housing Project

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has called on provincial governments to build decent houses, not "match box houses" without water and electricity.

Sexwale was speaking at the launch of the Klarinet Integrated Housing Project, the province's first multi-billion rand integrated human settlements project in Emalahleni. "Gone are the days when our people are accommodated in the small match box houses that do not have basic services like water and electricity."

"I would like to urge the other provincial governments, especially the department of human settlements to humanise our people by offering houses that have all the basic requirements like electricity, water, schools, clinics and roads."

The minister warned the first 450 beneficiaries of the project not to sell their houses.

Provincial Human Settlements Department spokesperson, Freddy Ngobe, said the project was the first large-scale integrated human settlements project implemented in Mpumalanga.

"The project is located in the north-western part of Emalahleni with an overall area of approximately 618 hectares. It supports the implementation of sustainable human settlements through the Breaking New Ground (BNG) development strategy of government," said Ngobe, at the event which was attended by hundreds of community members.

He said the project would deliver a mix of 11 696 housing products in a single, integrated development approach over two phases.

The phases are expected to include 5 699 subsidised houses, 2 322 institutional apartments and 3 948 bonded housing. It is also expected to have social facilities like schools, clinics, a cemetery, community centres and business centres.

"The project started in 2010 and has a five-year time frame, which means it will be completed in 2015. About 450 beneficiaries have already occupied their houses," Ngobe said.

He added that the project was implemented with the help of Absa Development Company and is jointly funded by the Emalahleni Local Municipality, the Mpumalanga Department of Human Settlements, the national Department of Energy and Absa Bank.

"The responsibilities of the main parties are described in the overarching Joint Implementation Development Agreement that was signed by the parties in December 2008," he said.

Ngobe said the parties involved in the projects planned to establish a quality "work-live-play" environment which promotes sustainable, non-racial, integrated societies through mixed mode housing solutions as well as sites for education, business, public open space, sport and other facilities.

He added that the overall medium to long-term performance of the economy was allowing more and more South Africans to live a decent life and take advantage of the "myriad of opportunities" that are being opened.

"Projects such as Klarinet and other projects in the pipeline provide such opportunities for thousands of families in the surrounding areas of the various projects. At the recent human settlements Indaba, Department MEC Siphosezwe Masango indicated that for improved delivery of human settlements with immediate effect.

"It is critical that we transform cities and towns into cohesive, sustainable and caring communities with easy access to work and social amenities, including sports and recreation facilities," said Ngobe.

Sydney Masinga
- BuaNews