The apartheid-era housing arrangement for black Africans is being discarded by the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality in favour of a non-racialised human settlement dispensation.
A municipal-engineered process to enable the poor to move out of Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch townships, to be provided with houses in the city centre, is being mooted.
When the idea was introduced a few years ago, the matter triggered a heated debate among political parties, with outraged residents in affluent suburbs vowing to oppose it, arguing that their property values would drop should the Mandela Bay metro go ahead with it.
In anticipation of resistance, the municipality decided to secure support for the controversial idea by introducing incentives it has still to spell out.
The human settlement plan developed by the Metroplan Company was completed in November and entails the “acquisition of well-located private and state land on which to deliver a mass housing project”.
Dubbed Restructuring the City Through Housing Delivery, the plan says “state and municipal land must be mobilised as well as private land in strategic locations for the delivery of integrated housing projects”.
A major finding made in the Metroplan study was that almost two decades after the collapse of apartheid; different races were still living apart, predominantly in geographical areas established to keep them apart.
Africans still lived mostly in townships like New Brighton, Kwanobuhle, Motherwell and Kwazakhele, coloureds and Indians in northern areas and whites in affluent suburbs like Summerstrand, Walmer and Lorraine.
The type of mixed settlements mooted envisages available land for low-cost housing beneficiaries to be allocated sites to build right in the heart of the city.
Lists of pilot project areas were being identified. Such areas needed to be established along the integrated public transport system routes.
Article source: http://www.thenewage.co.za/43181-1016-53-End_of_racial_townships