Winterveldt Informal Settlement To Be Revamped

Pretoria - Winterveldt informal settlement, north of Pretoria, will get a major facelift over the next six years that will see the neglected community transformed into a sustainable human settlement.

The provincial government plans to address the plight of more than 30 000 households in Winterveldt by delivering at least 32 107 subsidised housing units and approximately 2 200 finance-linked units for middle class families.

Immediate programmes include turning some extensions into formal townships installing services and building houses.

Clinics, schools, old age homes, trauma centres, multi-purpose centres, pension pay points and orphanages will also either be developed or upgraded in the township.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and Housing MEC Kgaogelo Lekgoro were in Winterveldt on Thursday to detail the Gauteng Provincial Government's plans for the 68-year-old township.Addressing the thousands of Winterveldt residents, Mokonyane said the time had come for change.

Winterveldt had been neglected for decades because of apartheid spatial development plans. "It is one of the areas that have been kept at the periphery of what is generally regarded as development and progress. Consequently, decay and rot became synonymous with this settlement," she said.

Mokoyane said the provincial government intended on reversing the years of neglect and suffering that Winterveldt residents had endured.

The Winterveldt Integrated Development Programme, with an estimated value of R4.9billlion, will change the social, economic and geographical landscape of the area.

Mokonyane said mixed housing developments and infrastructure development -- which included services such as water, sanitation, electricity and roads, economic development, urban planning and social development -- would be the focus of the project.

However, she stressed that housing would be the anchor of the project and rural development would also receive special attention because a large portion of the 30 000 households in Winterveldt were rural.

"We will also be looking at turning unused agricultural land into productive enterprises in order to boost the local economy," Mokoyane added.

Lekgoro said the primary aim of the project was to deliver services to the people of Winterveldt.

He added that the success of the project would depend heavily on the cooperation of the local leadership and community. He urged them to work with government to solve whatever problems may arise. - BuaNews