Peter Luhanga - September 19, 2020

The planned relocation of 1,500 residents from overcrowded informal settlements in Dunoon to land in Milnerton in order to relieve overcrowding and resulting feared spread of Covid-19, has been postponed to 2021. Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu announced the plan in April, stating residents would be relocated to their new homes in Winning Way, Milnerton, in July. As yet, no construction of new homes in Winning Way, which was zoned as an industrial area, has begun.

Provincial Human Settlements Department spokesperson Muneera Allie said it is anticipated housing construction will start in November, with informal settlement residents being moved next year. However, construction could only begin “once approval has been granted and provided that there are no appeals from other stakeholders”. If all went smoothly, relocation would be in the first quarter of 2021,” said Allie. She said her department has always maintained that its priority is the most vulnerable residents within the Dunoon community; the elderly, the disabled, and those living in very poor conditions. The department had established a project steering committee comprising local leadership and other interested and affected parties. Part of the steering committee’s responsibility is to identify beneficiaries.

She said the department is “very concerned” about the numerous land invasion threats within the Dunoon area. Due the scale of land invasion in the area, and fearing further invasion of vacant land, the provincial department has hired security to ensure the land is not invaded before construction begins. The department is “working very closely” with law enforcement agencies and has asked them to act against any attempted land invasions in the area, and is in the process of awarding a contract to fence the Milnerton property. Asked why the relocation was taking longer than initially planned, she said it is a “very complex” project with multiple stakeholders who the department needed to engage. Additionally, several land use approvals needed to be obtained before construction can begin. Despite the process being expedited, the necessary statutory processes were still required. A decision on two applications that have been submitted to the City of Cape Town is expected this month. Allie did not say what the nature of the applications were.

Renzo Schincariol, a factory owner and body corporate member at Racing Park business park adjacent to the land at Winning Way, said Racing Park and other industrial parks in the area have objected to both applications. Schincariol said the City already has land across the N7 (Annandale farm), which was allocated for housing. Further, he said instead of the provincial government “grossly overpaying” R65m for the undeveloped industrial land in Milnerton, the provincial and city authorities could have used the money to expedite housing provision on the Annandale land. While there was a “huge demand” for housing, the government could not deliver it at the cost of losing industrial land that could create jobs. Questions were sent to Minister Sisulu’s spokesperson Yonela Diko, who provided a response not related to this article.

Share this:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *