The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is calling on the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) and Human Settlements, Lebogang Maile to urgently prioritise the allocation of a budget for the implementation of the in-situ upgrade for Slovo Park and Crosby Informal Settlements in Johannesburg.
The DA has learnt with disappointment that budget limitations have had an impact on the upgrade programme which has caused delays in the implementation of the project. The programme will be undertaken once the budget has been made available.
This was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) and Human Settlements, Lebogang Maile in a written reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).
According to MEC Maile, the informal settlement has been identified for in-situ upgrade in the 2019/2020 financial year through the Upgrade of Informal Settlement Programme (UISP).
The 2019/2020 financial year has come and gone yet nothing has been done.
The project was planned in two phases as an in-situ upgrade and Green Fields which will yield 1832 units.
The DA welcomed the project as it was going to uplift the living conditions of the residents of Slovo Park residents and would alleviate the tremendous strain on infrastructure faced by Crosby residents.
The residents of Slovo Park Informal Settlement and Crosby residents have suffered appalling neglect for more than two decades and they had hope that their lives would change when they were promised the in-situ upgrade by the ANC-led government which has not yet materialised.
Due to Slovo Park having no infrastructure in place, dozens of illegal electricity connections are made all along Ashanti street in Crosby and Harmony Road in Coronationville , causing overloading and causes the outages. During the DA-led City of Johannesburg administration, additional electricity capacity was initiated by starting the electricity infrastructure phase one upgrade. When the ANC took over Johannesburg in 2019, the DA continued the fight for additional capacity, but the ANC government has failed to allocate this additional budget which was set to happen during the DA-led administration.
The DA is also concerned that winter is upon us and the residents of Crosby yet again will have to suffer with daily outages lasting several hours which have led to several fights amongst the residents of Slovo Park and Crosby. It is so sad to see that people have to go daily for hours at a time without electricity.
Delays in implementing these upgrades clearly indicates that the ANC-led government cares little about the plight of residents.
The DA will continue to put pressure on MEC Maile to prioritise allocating budget for the upgrades of Slovo Park Informal Settlement and applying pressure on the City of Johannesburg to increase electricity capacity for Crosby residents to improve their living conditions. All our people deserve to live in dignified housing that have access to basic necessities such as water, electricity and sanitation as stipulated by the constitution.
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