Press Release - 08/10/99 [ back to previous page ]

New Centre to Transform Cato Manor Informal Settlement
Construction work is forging ahead on a R15 million Multi-Purpose Centre which will serve Cato Crest, one of the informal settlements of Cato Manor.  The Centre comprises a primary and secondary school, community hall, library and sports field. In addition a pre-school is being built on an adjoining site.

The Centre will serve the people of Cato Crest, an informal settlement in Cato Manor, which is currently being upgraded and formalised by the Cato Manor Development Association (CMDA).


The CMDA is responsible for the development of the greater Cato Manor area, and is constructing the Center with assistance from the Durban North and South Central Local Council Engineer's Unit who are project managers.

Cato Crest is home to 4 000 low income families living in self-built homes.  The area was settled from 1990 onwards, and has no social facilities and minimal services. But that is all changing.

The Centre is a key component of a development package that will include formal houses, title deeds for residents, electricity, water-born sewage, piped water, paved roads, as well as social, commercial and light industrial developments.

The Centre, which is funded by the European Union, is being built around a central public square, on the site of the existing Mayville Primary School (formerly Phambili School) on the edge of Cato Crest, overlooking Manor Gardens and Bellair Road.

The European Union has committed approximately R150 million to the Cato Manor Project over the next three years and this facility is but one of many that will be constructed.

The schools, community hall and library can all be accessed from the public square, thus making it easy for community members as well as school pupils to use the facilities.

The primary school is already operational and classes are continuing simultaneously with the renovation of the 16 existing classrooms. New facilities being added to the primary school include ablution facilities, staff offices, two general purpose classrooms, a  tuckshop, utility room, book store and an admin block.

The secondary school, which is being built from scratch, comprises 24 classrooms, staff facilities, plus specialised technical drawing, needlework, domestic science, typing and computer classrooms and two science labs.

Both schools, which will accommodate some 800 pupils each, have been built according to the standards set by the KZN Education Department, and will be ready for the start of the 2 000 academic year. The library and community hall are expected to be completed in April  2 000.

The Centre is similar in concept to the recently completed Wiggins Multi-Purpose Centre, and has been designed to enable school pupils and community members to share facilities, thereby maximising the use of limited resources. Thus four general purpose classrooms attached to the schools will also be utilised for adult education programmes, while the community hall, library and sports field will be used by both school pupils and community members.

The facilities in the Centre will be administered by the relevant government departments. The schools fall under the provincial Education Department, while the library, community hall and sports field will be administered by the Durban's Department of Culture and Recreation.


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