BCM donates more vacant land for Breidbach housing

More than 100 vacant serviced sites owned by Buffalo City Metro in Breidbach will be donated to the Eastern Cape department of human settlements in an effort to speed up housing delivery in the protest-prone area.

This comes after council recently approved the donation of a total of 163 sites to the department following a number of violent protests that erupted in Breidbach this year.

In a report tabled before council recently, city manager Andile Sihlahla said a verification process was carried out to establish where the sites were vacant and serviced.

“The findings confirmed that all 163 sites as vacant. The services were confirmed on the majority of sites by the visibility of infrastructure such as electricity meter boxes and water meters. It must be noted, however, that some of the sites did not have these indications to confirm availability of services,” Sihlahla said.

Although BCM offered 163 sites, Sihlahla said the sites could be further subdivided and the general plan be amended in order to create additional sites to accommodate more people and densify the area.

Since May, angry residents have embarked on a number of protests, some of which have closed the busy N2, over demands for RDP housing.

Speaking to the Daily Dispatch last week, provincial human settlements spokesman Lwandile Sicwetsha said the land donation had been discussed at a project technical planning meeting.

He said construction of the houses would commence once planning activities are concluded, which is anticipated to be May or June next year. Already a planning and construction company, Daku Group, has been appointed for the job.

At his mayoral imbizo in October, BCM mayor Xola Pakati said more than 2000 RDP houses would be be built in Breidbach from March.

He elaborated on this at the last council at the end of October, saying these would be done in different phases.

ANC councillor Xolani Witbooi said beneficiaries could expect to move into the houses six months after the commencement of their construction.

A detailed report will be submitted in council concerning the action plan to address the issue of housing in Breidbach. — mamelag@dispatch.co.za

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