New plan for Evaton project

Ntwaagae Seleka

Ntwaagae Seleka

The multi-million rand Evaton renewal project now has a committee to oversee the development of one of South Africa's oldest townships.

The Evaton Development Forum held a three-day general meeting at the Emerald Casino in Vanderbijlpark, where a 15- member executive committee was elected at the weekend.

Newly elected chairman Tutu Molefe said his committee would interact with all stakeholders, including the government and the community.

"We need to have a vision that will lead us through the programme," Molefe said. "We should register a procurement company that will include the people of Evaton.

"The company will be registered as a BEE entity and develop a trust for Evaton."

He said there would be no development without land.

Gauteng MEC for housing Nomvula Mokonyane addressed the more than 300 delegates.

She said the elected members, who were from various community organisations, would oversee the Evaton project, one of President Thabo Mbeki's key development zones.

Evaton, which is more than 100 years old, is part of the urban renewal project and the only black residential area in which land owners enjoyed freehold rights during apartheid.

Mokonyane said: "While land acquisition remain a major challenge, negotiations with private land owners to release their land for housing development are going on."

She said the department would compensate land owners who made land available to the government.

About 176 houses will be built to temporarily accommodate people whose houses will be refurbished.