After twenty years of democracy it is just deplorable that the majority of previously disadvantaged South Africans should still be condemned to living in informal settlements that are often riddled by grime and crime. As a result, the City of Johannesburg will devote part of its R2.6 billion budget for housing projects towards the comprehensive upgrading of existing informal settlements, which will be in the form of in Situ and relocations, according to its 2014/15 Budget.
Some of the areas that will benefit from the project are Diepsloot, Ivory Park, Alexandra and Orange Farm. Additionally, the City of Johannesburg will embark on the refurbishment of hostels, which provide accommodation to lower income earners. Most hostels are in a derelict state, which attracts criminal activity and are a healthy hazard to inhabitants. One of the hostels that are to be refurbished is Helen Joseph.
Annually, the City of Johannesburg, as the country’s economic hub, attracts thousands of people in search for opportunities. Significantly, this has led to population explosion in informal settlements.
Addressing councillors during the budget’s presentation, member for the mayoral committee for finance in the City of Johannesburg, Geoffrey Makhubo, revealed that the City was aware of the massive task it faced ahead.
“There can be no doubt that the twin challenges of rapid urbanisation, and the massive and unprecedented influx of people into Johannesburg over the past two decades, from all over the country, within the continent and further afield, has presented us with much greater and complex challenges. 46% of all who live in the City were not born here,” he said.