News24 Wire
Wire Service
2 minute read
7 May 2020
2:07 pm

Joburg housing MMC denies stalling relocation of informal settlements

News24 Wire

'The allegation levelled against us is untrue because there are fair and transparent processes that are followed in order to appoint contractors,' says Mlungisi Mabaso.

Parts of the Setswetla Informal Settlement are pictured, 5 May 2020, as the MMC for Housing in the City of Joburg Mlungisi Mabaso was visiting the area as well as transitional relocation areas for de-densification of Setswetla Informal Settlement.  Picture: Tracy Lee Stark 

Housing MMC in the City of Johannesburg, Mlungisi Mabaso, has denied allegations that the City is stalling Housing Development Agency (HDA) interventions to provide temporary structures in Johannesburg.

“We would like to put it on record that the COO and the CEO of the Housing Development Agency met with myself over the weekend to deliberate and strengthen the working relationship between the City of Joburg and [the] HDA,” Mabaso told News24.

“We want to categorically state that the allegation levelled against us is untrue because there are fair and transparent processes that are followed in order to appoint contractors,” Mabaso said.

He made the comments after an “electronic not signed memorandum”, addressed to CEO of the HDA, Mikki Xayiya, was sent to News 24, purportedly from the MMC’s office.

In the document, dated 1 May, the MMC addressed the withdrawal of the involvement of the HDA for the construction of temporary relocation areas for some of the informal settlements in the City of Johannesburg.

In the correspondence that News24 received, a source alleged that this was a way for politicians to choose contractors they desired.

“Councillors and the MMC cannot get involved in the appointment of contractors as that is an administrative function.

“Failure to move quickly with the assistance of the HDA means Joburg is losing much-needed resources to give people housing in Setswetla, Diepsloot, Zandspruit and Ivory park,” the source said, adding that the relocation process could not take place if it was being hijacked.

The MMC further noted that one of the processes of implementing a project of this nature was to engage with relevant stakeholders, including councillors and affected people, who will be moved.

“Anyone who alleges that the processes are unbecoming and perhaps being flouted, should come out clearly and not hide behind the mask,” Mabaso said.

News24 joined the MMC and his team in Alexandra on Tuesday, where he shared the City’s plans to relocate 1,600 South African citizens from the densely populated Setswetla informal settlement.

As a result, the City has identified two sites where temporary structures will be placed in the form of containers.

The process is expected to take three to four months to be completed.

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