Gauteng to upgrade old townships

An initiative that will see 20 old townships in Gauteng upgraded was launched by the provincial housing department on Sunday.

Acting provincial housing minister Dorothy Mahlangu said specific attention will be given to so-called backyard dwellers.

“We will be coming to each household where there are backyard shacks. We need to find out if you have applied for a housing subsidy and be able to explain different choices that you have,” she said in a statement.

“Through this programme, we will be able to regulate the relationship between the landlord and tenants because people will be able to upgrade infrastructure for a second dwelling.”

Ten townships targeted for the current financial year are Orlando in Soweto, Zola/Emnedeni in Soweto, Tembisa near Kempton Park, Duduza near Nigel, Sebokeng and Boipatong in the Vaal Triangle, Kagiso and Munsieville on the West Rand and Atteridgeville and Mamelodi near Pretoria.

“The main objective [is] to ensure that their urban form is upgraded physically in a manner that improves the living conditions of the residents.

“The rehabilitation of the existing settlements shall take the form of facilitating the development of primary, public, social and economic facilities.”

The projects will focus on supplying, among others, basic ablution facilities, clinics, community halls and crèches, playgrounds, public transport facilities, sports facilities and paved sidewalks.

Mahlangu said the department is also intensifying its programme of promoting home ownership.

“In line with the Constitution of this country, the Gauteng department of housing is highly committed to ensure that citizens who qualify for shelter are assisted to the best [of our] ability,” she said.—Sapa

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