Plan to build 140 houses

THE eThekwini municipality's executive committee has approved R14million to eradicate informal settlement in and around Isipingo, south of Durban.

The council agreed to invest money in the construction of 140 houses at Lotus Park on 2,37ha of vacant land.

The Silvergull Drive Housing project is a joint venture by the public-private sector in the city to build houses for the poor.

A black economic empowerment enterprise known as Southway Freight, which runs a number of social investment initiatives in the area, donated R500000 towards the construction of the houses.

A report from the council's housing unit to the executive committee reveals that the project will be partially funded by a private company.

The report also says this is with the proviso that at least 70 employees of the company are given houses in the project "to be accommodated in closer proximity to company premises".

Municipal housing committee chairperson Nigel Gumede hailed the initiative.

He said the council needed more public-private partnerships to help it achieve the target of building 32000 homes in the 2010 and 2011 financial years.

"We are not only providing housing but are also promoting mixed race settlements in our communities," Gumede said.

He said the main aim was to house people closer to places of employment to reduce the costs of travelling.

He said they would be approaching the provincial human settlements department for a R11million subsidy for the project.