The City of Johannesburg’s housing department has started the process of allocating housing units to 33 residents living in tented temporary accommodation at Wembley Stadium.
The department resolved to provide 70 prefabricated units with full ablution facilities, running water and electricity following a July 2017 court order instructing the City to house the people affected by the Cape York fire by October 1, 2017.
“The project was fraught with challenges as we tried to reach the deadline set by the court. We are not where we had planned to be, but this is a major milestone, having been able to allocate the first phase,” project manager Zanele Malusi said.
The City faces the challenge of accommodating around 30 000 residents who currently live in unsuitable buildings, according to a statement from member of the mayoral committee Meshack van Wyk.
Once they are evicted, emergency temporary housing must be provided despite the department’s limited resources.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce that we are able as a department to provide dignity to the people of Wembley. While we are not able to accommodate all of the residents during this phase, it is a good start,” Van Wyk said.
“The inner city regeneration project to fast track delivery of affordable housing is one of my key tasks, as a lack of affordable rentals – among others – is one of the factors that have led to the squalor we see in the inner city.”
He added that a plan was in place to turn the inner city around by creating access to affordable accommodation.
The department has committed to allocating units in phases until the project is finalised in the coming few weeks.