First Phase of Cornubia Development Launched

Durban - The inter-governmental, multibillion rand Cornubia Development, situated north of Durban, has become a reality, as 482 housing units are ready for occupation, eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo said today.

Speaking to the media during a tour of the completed houses on Friday, Nxumalo was upbeat.

"As the eThekwini Municipality, we are very excited to finally launch phase 1A of this beautiful Presidential Lead Project."

The units consist of two bedrooms, a lounge, a kitchen and ablution facilities. This is a far cry from the usual one-bedroom RDP starter homes.

The mayor said phase 1A cost close to R100 million - for both houses and related infrastructure.

He said phase 1B is to begin before the end of this year. This phase will yield an additional 2 221 housing units at an additional cost of R500 million. The uptake on the business development has reached 80 percent, and construction is also underway.

Cornubia is a mixed use and mixed income development consisting of 1 200 hectares of the land. Of these, 80 hectares are earmarked for industrial development. The rest is for commercial, housing and other public amenities.

The completed Cornubia Development is expected to yield 23 000 housing units within the next 10 years.

"The first 250 people are already allocated houses. We expect all new owners to move in by November/December this year - depending on the finalisation of connecting the new housing units to the electrical grid and water reticulation system. We expect these to be completed by October," a beaming Nxumalo said.

Head of Human Settlements and Infrastructure, Nigel Gumede, said the city has finalised the allocation policy. "Our priority is to resettle people who are currently in transit camps," Gumede said.

However, he added a word of caution: "We want the new owners to treat these housing units as their homes, not as an informal settlement. We will ensure that the right people are allocated houses and monitor compliance. Thereafter, no one is allowed to sublet or sell the housing unit as it belongs to the government."

"In cases where people have been moved from informal settlements to relocate to Cornubia, the settlement will be demolished in line with our slums clearance programme," he said.

Meanwhile, the Nxumalo announced that next month, the city will launch a new housing technology that is expected to ease the 400 000 housing backlog in eThekwini.

The details about this new housing technology are still kept under wraps.

"The new technology will make it possible to build a new house within three days. The good news is that the new technology is not only faster but also cheaper than the conventional building methods," Nxumalo said.

He said 20 companies have been selected to build show houses using the new technology. "We will choose the best show house and launch a pilot project immediately to test the new system on a mass scale."

The new housing technology has already received a nod from the national Department of Human Settlements.

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