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Wednesday Sep 11, 2013

Pledge on transparency over Cornubia housing allocation

The team responsible for allocating houses in Durban's Cornubia development project will be named soon.

DA councillors Zwakele Mncwango, Jethro Lefevre and Heinz de Boer inspect a housing unit at the Cornubia development during an oversight visit by the party yesterday.

Nigel Gumede, chairman of the eThekwini human settlements housing committee, gave this reassurance amid the DA's claims that there was no transparency when it came to the allocation of the houses.

The multimillion-rand Cornubia development to the north of Durban is a mixed-use and mixed-income 1 200 hectare development.

Of these, 80ha are earmarked for industrial development and the rest is for commercial, housing and other public amenities.

Yesterday the DA paid an oversight visit to the project to check on progress with the houses, which were nearing completion.

The DA's eThekwini caucus leader, Zwakele Mncwango, said the project was a good one, but they were anxious to know who the members of the allocation team were.

'There are issues in terms of transparency. There are only 482 units available, but that is not the picture that the ANC is painting. No one even knows who the members of the allocation committee are,' he said.

Mncwango said the reality was that not everyone was going to get houses.

'If they introduce the allocation committee members it will help in terms of transparency and it will also stop the allegations about councillors selling these houses,' he said.

Gumede said the DA knew about the housing allocation policy, which would serve as a guideline.

'The DA was part of the agreement and we had all planned to go and look at the work of this project and what do they (the DA) do? They go first,' he said.

Gumede said the DA had agreed to an allocations team and would be included in it. It would be introduced to the housing committee at its next meeting, early next month.

'We had agreed that when we allocate, we will start with people who were in environmentally sensitive areas and we had discussions about this. They know very well,' he said.

'They said that if we launch these good things, we will get more votes (during the election),' Gumede sid.

The Cornubia development was initially a joint venture between the eThekwini Municipality and Tongaat Hulett, but has since been adopted by the cabinet as a national priority project.

All spheres of government, including the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, are now partners in the Cornubia development.

Once completed, it will include 24 000 homes, of which 15 000 will be subsidised housing and the balance will be for a wide range of affordability levels.

Daily News

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