eThekwini to revive housing projects

ethekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda.

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Durban - eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda has given the public an assurance that the municipality will revive all the housing projects that had stalled.

He said the municipality was consolidating the list of all stalled and disrupted housing projects with the aim of unblocking them.

City councillors have complained about the city’s inability to deliver houses for beneficiaries, pointing out that in the past, the municipality delivered thousands of houses each year and this was no longer the case.

In a statement, Kaunda said there were plans in place to “un-block” the infamously stalled Umbhayi Housing Project in uThongathi.

“The delays were not caused by the municipality, but several factors beyond our control. Most of the six years were spent on the civil infrastructure work and delays experienced impacted on the top-structure construction,” he said.

The mayor said the civil infrastructure appointment was delayed at procurement stage for various reasons and the civil contractor was only appointed on November 20, 2018.

Work commenced on site on March 5, 2019 after obtaining all requirements including construction work permit.

Kaunda said numerous other delays were experienced by the civil contractor because of the national lockdown from March 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Other delays were caused by the private landowner’s claim which took about seven months to resolve and at the time, the letter of appointment was expiring for the civil contractors.

“These situations delayed the project tremendously. For this project, R72.9 million was used for the civils work. The R15m spent from the Human Settlements Development Grant (HSDG) relates mostly to planning costs and civil infrastructure costs as there is a civils component in the HSDG.

“The project funding is still available and will only be utilised when the contractor for top structures is procured. Officials are finalising the procurement processes for work to resume by October this year. We are looking forward to the completion of this project and hope there will be no further delays that will prolong the construction period and inconvenience the beneficiaries,” said the mayor.

He said the effort to identify and unlock more bottlenecked projects had been intensified across the City, and plans were afoot to officially resuscitate more stalled or disrupted projects.

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