Council gets rid of apartheid hostels

HANDS-ON: Tshwane mayor Gwen Ramokgopa ready to kick-start the demolishing of the Mamelodi hostels to make way for the new housing project. 07/05/09. Pic. Sipho Masombuka. © Sowetan.
HANDS-ON: Tshwane mayor Gwen Ramokgopa ready to kick-start the demolishing of the Mamelodi hostels to make way for the new housing project. 07/05/09. Pic. Sipho Masombuka. © Sowetan.

Sipho Masombuka

Sipho Masombuka

The City of Tshwane municipality has approved a plan to get rid of the apartheid-era dormitory hostels in Mamelodi, Pretoria, to make way for a R500 million integrated settlement to house mixed income communities in line with the Breaking New Ground (BNG) plan.

Accompanied by MMCs for housing and social development, Tshwane mayor Gwen Ramokgopa watched as the first block of the hostel was reduced to rubble yesterday.

Ramokgopa said all the township's hostels, except room 8 in which the classic TV comedy Emzini Wezinsizwa was shot, would have been demolished by Thursday.

Mamelodi hostels are located on a strategic land, and medium- to-high-density housing units would be erected to take advantage of the existing infrastructure.

According to Ramokgopa, the development would address diverse housing interest of the current hostel residents.

She said the project would be developed through funding from the municipality, Gauteng department of housing and the private sector.

The whole project would be developed in phases over seven years and phase one would create about 150 jobs.

"We have already concluded a Memorandum of Agreement with the Gauteng department of housing to give effect to the development of the project.

"Three hundred temporary residential units have been constructed to accommodate hostel residents to be relocated from blocks identified for demolishing," she said.

Ramokgopa said the blocks demolished yesterday were the most unsafe blocks for human habitation.

She said the eradication of the hostels was one of the municipality's top priorities because hostels represented some of the remnants of the old order.

Ramokgopa said the hostels were also over-crowded and a haven for all social ills.

X