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Houses going up despite outcry

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Homeowners in the area shared their fears that the value of their properties could drop due to the six low-cost houses being constructed

THE CONSTRUCTION of six five-roomed houses in Herlear for the Colville family of 47 is continuing despite an outcry from a number of city residents.

Each house will have two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and living room.

Construction workers were yesterday hard at work laying the concrete foundation for the six houses that are going up behind the police flats in Herlear.

Local residents voiced their unhappiness about the construction of the houses for the family of 47 people currently living in an overcrowded house in Colville.

The family’s plight came to light when President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the area and the family during the ANC’s January 8 celebrations in Kimberley.

Ramaphosa was shocked when he heard about the living conditions of the five siblings who share a house with their 12 children, 18 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

AfriBiz Investments, in partnership with the Collen Mashawana Foundation, decided to come to the family’s rescue after reading of their plight in the media.

Last month, residents in Greenpoint were deeply aggrieved after they heard that the family would be allocated land in the area for the construction of their new homes.

The residents claimed that they had been waiting for proper houses, equipped with electricity and sanitation, for many years and had been overlooked, while the family was getting preferable treatment from the municipality.

The Sol Plaatje Municipality then had to allocate another piece of land in a different area for the construction of the houses.

The municipality has been tight-lipped on who gave the green light for the construction to commence on a piece of land located behind the police flats in Herlear after residents and the DA started asking questions.

Homeowners in the area shared their fears that the value of their properties could drop due to the six low-cost houses being constructed.

The DA in the Northern Cape indicated that the municipality had not followed the proper procedures in allocating the land.

The Office of the Executive Mayor, reacting on its social media page, indicated that the decision to build the houses in Herlear had come from the office of mayor Patrick Mabilo.

“The executive mayor immediately after AfriBiz came on board instructed the municipal manager to locate adequately serviced land which can accommodate six free-standing houses. Several sites were identified of which Greenpoint and Herlear were part of,” the statement read.

The statement further indicated that the municipality was working on alleviating the problem of a lack of proper housing in the city.

“The executive mayor would like to assure the residents of informal settlements that the municipality is currently developing a Master Plan for Housing Provision, which will include amongst others; BNG housing, FLISP housing scheme, Gap housing, Social housing and making serviced land available for Private Middle Income Housing, thereby creating sustainable human settlements for the residents of the Sol Plaatje Municipality.”

The cost of the construction of the six houses is currently also unknown.

The marketing manager of AfriBiz Investments indicated that they were working in partnership with the municipality on the project.

“We had to work through the municipality in order for the beneficiaries to be supplied with electricity and water. Although this is our project and not a government project, we cannot just build houses and that is where the municipality had to allocate the land and services,” she said.