City commits to improving informal settlements

Ethekwini Mayor, councillor Zandile Gumede.
Ethekwini Mayor, councillor Zandile Gumede.

ETHEKWINI Mayor Zandile Gumede has committed to ensuring that the life of people living in informal settlements improves. After signing an agreement with the Shack Dwellers International Alliance (SDIA), Gumede said she wants people residing in informal settlements to live a normal life and have access to social amenities and economic opportunities.

“The aim of the partnership is to improve informal settlements and encourage communities to participate in their own development. By next year January, we will have good stories to tell and show as a result of this partnership. We don’t just sign partnerships but we action our plans. In the past two months, we have been rolling-out electrification projects in a number of informal settlements,” said Mayor Gumede.

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The Municipality has created an informal settlement upgrading programme which aims to deliver basic services like electrification, safe drinking water, sanitation, showers, improved roads and footpath access.

Gumede went on to say in efforts to reduce the overcrowding in informal settlements, a housing project through provincial government and SDIA will be hitting ground soon.

“This is an important milestone in the history of our City as we can never achieve our vision of becoming Africa’s most caring and livable City alone. It is through strategic partnerships like this that we hope to draw in the greatest resource we have to improve the living conditions of our most vulnerable residents,” she added.

The Mayor vowed to be at the forefront of this partnership to ensure accelerated interventions, saying she fully understands the pain of shack dwellers caused by the poor living conditions.

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