Nelson Mandela Bay to tackle housing backlog

By Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

East London - The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has developed a housing turnaround strategy in an attempt to tackle its housing backlog.

This emerged on Tuesday during a MuniMec meeting, an intergovernmental forum that brought the MEC for Human Settlement and all municipal officials together to address housing challenges.

Deputy Mayor Bicks Ndoni said the turnaround strategy aimed to address the municipality's backlog of 84 266 housing units.

"An area which we are currently strengthening is project supervision and management. As some emerging contractors failed us in the past, we are now making use of experienced contractors, especially for major projects," Mr Ndoni added.

He said the municipality is currently reviewing and checking its waiting list to ensure that it is accurate and reliable.

Mr Ndoni said another key focus area for the municipality in terms of integrated sustainable human settlements is the relocation of residents from flood plains, electricity reserves and other hazardous areas.

He said in this regard, 14 000 households need to be relocated. Areas that have been identified for the relocation include Motherwell's NU29 and NU30, Wells Estate as well as Chatty.

"The municipality has identified other land for the provision of serviced sites, to which people can be relocated while waiting for the construction of their houses," Mr Ndoni said.

Other key targets the municipality set itself for the 2009/10 financial year include the finalisation of its long-term strategy (20-30 year plan).

The municipality also intends maximising operational efficiencies by cutting unnecessary expenditure as well as enhancing integrated planning between the municipality and other spheres of government.

"We will also maintain the focus on public participation in decision making and planning," the deputy mayor said.

- BuaNews