Port Alfred residents get 500 houses

Pretoria - Christmas came early for the residents of Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape when Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale handed over 500 houses to the community on Tuesday.

With the houses came a promise from Sexwale that the pace of the delivery of services and houses would be accelerated.

"This project is an indication of how this new government is going to do things; we are not going to allow any slow pace in the provision of service delivery. We are now going to increase the pace of delivery in all our projects…our people cannot and must not wait any longer for decent shelter," he added.

Sexwale told residents that he shared in their hardship and was aware of the difficulties they faced without proper housing or services.

"I cannot sleep in my house properly if my people are homeless. When they can't be protected from the weather when it is rainy, windy suffering in their shack," he said.

While 500 houses have been built in the area since April this year, the project will ultimately result in 5 000 houses - both rental and bonded - being built. The provision of schools, clinics and business places also forms part of the project.

However, the rollout of the remaining 4 500 homes are being held up the lack of services, specifically major waterworks, such as a desalination plant to treat sea water, a plant to clean river water or the construction of a new dam. - BuaNews