Malacca Road residents vote to move as one

Ward councillor, Pete Graham and chairperson of the Malacca Road Informal Settlement committee, Sibonelo Mkethwa discuss the options given by the City's human settlements department.
Ward councillor, Pete Graham and chairperson of the Malacca Road Informal Settlement committee, Sibonelo Mkethwa discuss the options given by the City's human settlements department.

RESIDENTS of Malacca Road Informal Settlement have taken a decision on their future. This comes after the City’s human settlements department gave the residents the options with regards to a move to the newly developed Cornubia housing development. The residents voted on Freedom Day and were given two options by the City.

Either 39 families leave Malacca Road and the rest stay; or the entire settlement consisting of 79 households, move as one. In 2015, 39 families were promised homes but there has been no concrete plan to move the residents. Cornubia is strategically located between Durban’s wealthier Mt Edgecombe and uMhlanga areas and disadvantaged areas north of the city such as Inanda, Ntuzuma, KwaMashu, Phoenix, Ottawa and Waterloo.

Ward councillor, Pete Graham, impressed upon the residents to make sure no more shacks were put up because the allocation of houses only accounted for 79 households.

“The City has agreed to electrify the settlement by giving the residents electricity boxes which many of them have expressed joy about. The majority of the residents have opted to move as one to Cornubia. Due to its relatively small size, Malacca Road Informal Settlement can be moved as one. We recently held a meeting with a member of the Humans Settlement department and involved the chairperson of the informal settlement in the meetings where the options were laid out. I have asked the chairman of the committee to make sure no more informal dwellings are built because they will not be able to be accommodated,” said Graham.

Chairperson of the Malacca Road Informal Settlement committee, Sibonelo Mketwa, said he was happy with the decision.

“I was with the councillor at the Human Settlements meeting and I feel like the councillor is not promising us something from his mouth, it’s from the City’s mouth. We are very happy to be finally moving. It means a lot to all of us who have been living in shacks for so long. My hope is that the City will honour its word to us. A huge plus for us was the decision to electrify the settlement, which is incredibly pleasing,” he said.

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