By Mazwi Ngcobo
Work has begun on the long-awaited housing project at
Jamaica informal settlement on the outskirts of Chesterville. The
Jamaica community, who have been living in self-built shacks with
no services for several years, were very happy to see the heavy
earth-moving equipment of Teichman Civils move into their settlement
and begin the construction of storm water drainage, the water supply
system, roads and sewers.
The infrastructure work, which is preparing the way
for the construction of houses, is expected to be completed in November.
According to the project management team, the tender for the construction
of platforms and houses has not yet been awarded.
More than 20 Jamaica residents are being employed
by Teichman Civils to work on the construction of civil infrastructure.
It is understood that a number of households in Jamaica
will have to temporarily relocate while construction work is under
way. The details of the relocation have not been decided yet.
The latest update regarding the signing of sales agreements indicate
that close to 200 agreements have been secured.
The arrival of Teichman Civils has been welcomed by the local
community as a sign of better things to come. Residents in this
settlement have had to wait a long time for development to come
due to a number of problems which have caused long delays. These
included land invasions and disputes among community representatives.
"We thank the stars above that something positive is happening.
We are relieved. Unfortunately there is a long waiting period in
between developments in Jamaica to be certain of what is really
going on. It is almost two years since a developer was awarded a
contract to work on this development. It feels like more than a
year since the show unit has been built," said one resident.
Jamaica is one of the few informal settlements in the Durban area
that is not so densely populated - it has an estimated population
of about 500 households. A total of 512 subsidies have been approved
by the Provincial Housing Development Board.
The minimum site size is 160 m2.
Children from Ukukhanya Primary School in Chesterville
(right) perform the "Sarafina" dance during June 16
celebrations in Cato Manor.
The celebrations were organised by youth groups
active in Cato Manor as a way of paying tribute to those who died
during the struggle for democracy.
June 16, 1976 was the day that the students of Soweto went out
onto the streets to protest against the use of Afrikaans as a medium
of instruction in schools. The protest was met with fierce resistance
and quickly spread to the rest of the country.