Millions budgeted for IY housing and electrification

Electrification of Imizamo Yethu is a priority.

Imizamo Yethu will receive R22 million for Phase 3 of the formal housing project and an additional R16.2 million for electrification.

That is according to the draft budget announced by Mayor Patricia de Lille last week.

Cape Town’s total proposed budget for the upcoming financial year is a total of R49.1 billion with R39.8 billion on the operating budget and R9.2 billion for capital expenditure.

There will be up to a thousand units built on the sites known as Petersen, Forestry and Penzance as part of the Imizamo Yethu formal housing project. These comprise Breaking New Ground (BNG) houses and Community Residential Units (CRUs).

CRUs, which take the form of flats, are rented from the City, while in the case of BNG homes, residents own both the house and plot.

CRU units are stacked in in three levels accessed from an internal staircase which is more suited to extreme weather conditions.

Community leader Kenny Tokwe welcomed the allocations, but added: “It’s never enough”.

“Something must be done to save the lives of our people. They need proper housing and electricity,” he said.

IYMovementleader Mkhululi Ndude was happy about the budget to be spent on Imizamo Yethu but questioned whether the electrification figure was for the settlement as a whole.

“How and where are they (City) going to do this? We need to know if the electrification will be through the superblocking process.

“If that is the case, then obviously superblocking has to happen first.”

Residents of Dontse Yakhe, eBhayi and the Shooting range, areas that were ravaged by the fire on March 11 last year, have been demanding that the City provide power and basic services to them.

However,MrNdude believed it would be a “waste of money” to only electrify this precinct.

“You first have to have the superblocking.

“If these areas were given power and another fire came, everything that had been done would be wiped out.”

SA National Civic Organisation (SANCO) chairman for Imizamo Yethu, Samkelo “Gary” Krweqe, said the allocations were “long overdue”.

“In particular I would like to welcome the R16.2 million for electrification. We need everyone to have power before the end of the financial year,” he said.

“In Dontse Yakhe, people have been waiting 13 or 15 years for proper power.

“I would advise that three or four proper sub-stations are installed, and not just electricity poles.

“The connection needs to be strong. You can see the sub-stations that have been installed at the Disa and Depot TRAs (temporary relocation areas) are very effective. We need to see the same thing happening up there.”

However, Pamela Sofika, of the Imizamo Yethu Informal Settlements Block Committee Council (ISBCC) which serves Dontse Yakhe, the Shooting Range and eBhayi, was underwhelmed with the electrification and formal housing allocation.

“Both budgets are actually very small. When Madiba Square was electrified, Patricia used a figure of over R20 million.

“That was only for Madiba Square. So how many structures is R16 million going to provide power to?”