eThekwini Municipality’s Executive Committee has tabled a report outlining its plan to eradicate more than 40 years of housing backlog.

The committee aims to address the backlog by identifying suitable and well-located land to deliver houses, eradicate informal settlements and stop land invasions. The proposed project will provide service sites for the public to build their own houses rather than waiting for low-cost housing to be delivered to them.

“This report allows the city to deal with the housing issue. A number of people need to be relocated particularly from transit camps where they have lived for years. We cannot rely on the Cornubia development to meet this need alone. Therefore, this system where we provide service sites and allow people will build their own homes will address the backlog,” said Cllr Mondli Mthembu, Chairperson of the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee.

eThekwini’s Human Settlements Unit has already identified various priority projects which require land acquisition for successful implementation. With over 700 properties listed in the report, the Real Estate and Human Settlement units are expected to enter into negotiations with respective property owners for the acquisition or expropriation of identified land parcels. These acquisitions will be funded through the Urban Settlements Development Grant funding.

eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede has welcomed the plan, saying it will move the City forward. “We are a caring and progressive City. I am sure that communities will be happy with this plan.”