5-year plan to wipe off squatter camps

THERE will be no squatter camps in the city of Johannesburg after five years.

THERE will be no squatter camps in the city of Johannesburg after five years.

Johannesburg's mayor Amos Masondo says an ambitious plan is already under way, to legalise, upgrade and formalise all such dwellings by 2014.

Masondo confirmed yesterday that this was in line with the millennium developmental plan that seeks to eradicate all informal settlement by 2014.

"Settlements should be structured in way that will allow for the provision of bulk infrastructure, including water, electricity, roads and services including refuse removal, mobile clinics, libraries and ambulances.

"Future settlement growth should be properly structured and development of future non-authorised settlements must be contained," Masondo said.

Executive director of City of Johannesburg's department of development planning and urban management and housing, Philip Harrison said, "The aim is to bring a level of security of tenure to residents of informal settlements so that they are encouraged to invest in their properties."

Harrison admitted that not 100percent of shacks would be eradicated by 2014.

He added that the aim was to also encourage people to take ownership of their properties because their settlement would be legal.

Harrison said this would help stop the mushrooming of shacks because people would be incentivised for looking after their properties and stop others from erecting illegal shacks.

Harrison said residents in hazardous locations would be moved.

Of Johannesburg's 180 informal settlements, 73 have been earmarked as upgrading projects, 17 as relocation projects, 20 as regularisation projects, 23 as already linked to housing programmes and 47 not yet linked to programmes or projects.

Currently, 25 percent of Johannesburg's citizens fall in the informal category which equates to about 200000 households.