Violence-plagued Kennedy settlement to be developed

RESIDENTS of the troubled Kennedy informal settlement in Durban will soon be smiling - the municipality has promised to develop the area and provide safe houses.

MEC for transport, community safety and liaison Willies Mchunu yesterday revealed that a proposed housing project for the area of about 600 households would start in January next year.

The government's pledge to provide housing comes shortly after Abahlali baseMjondolo, campaigning for the rights of shack dwellers, on Wednesday celebrated its landmark Constitutional Court victory.

The Constitutional Court declared the KwaZulu-Natal Elimination and Prevention of Re-emergence of Slums Act (Slums Act) unconstitutional.

The piece of legislation would have allowed mass evictions in KwaZulu-Natal.

The court challenge was brought by Abahlali baseMjondolo in the Durban high court in February last year. They lost the case and took the matter to the highest court in the land.

"I conclude that section 16 of the Slums Act is inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid," Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke said in his ruling.

Sporadic violence erupted in the area last month, leading to the arrest of 15 people . A group of men carrying weapons attacked and killed two people and injured others.

Mchunu said eThekwini municipality would install high mast lights and improve the area.

He said research conducted by his department showed that the root causes of the problems in the area were of a socioeconomic nature.