Township gets facelift

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Residents of Lamontville township, south of Durban, tasted the fruits of freedom when a R224million urban renewal programme was unveiled.

The programme is aimed at changing the face of the township, which is regarded as a monument to the abhorrent policy of separate development.

The project entails the building of 2500 new houses and giving refurbishing 1500 flats.

The township is not only famous for being a melting pot of anti-apartheid resistance in the pre-democratic era, but is also regarded as one of the cradles of some of the fearless antiapartheid stalwarts.

Addressing residents on Friday KwaZulu-Natal MEC for local government, housing and traditional affairs Mike Mabuyakhulu said the programme was also aimed at promoting home ownership.

One of the beneficiaries, Noni Zulu, 75, said she had been living in the township flats since 1954.

"I have paid rent for years without owning the place," she said. "I'm delighted to own this house in my last days."

Bheki Cele, MEC for transport, community safety and liaison - who grew up in the township - said he was over the moon that the lives of people will change for the better.