At a public meeting at the Boys Town Housing project in Nyanga, Cape Town today, I have instructed that work continue on Phase 2 of the Boys Town Housing Project. I will not allow the lawlessness and violence of a few people to stop the delivery of hundreds of houses to people who really need them.
I am willing to listen to anyone who can provide proof of corruption at the project. If anyone has tangible proof on wrongdoing, then I repeat the call I have made many times, for those people to submit that proof to my office, and I will speedily investigate, and publicly report back. We cannot, however, act on unsubstantiated allegations and hearsay, or let endless allegations halt delivery.
There is no reason to stop construction while we investigate any proof submitted, and if needs be, construction and the investigation of proof can run parallel to each other.
Boys Town is an in-situ upgrading project, which means that basic services are installed and houses built as part of the upgrading of an existing informal settlement. When complete, the project will deliver 1392 units, and will benefit residents from Boys Town, Philippi Park, Gqobasi, New Rest, Open Space and Section 5. The development will cost an estimated R196,8 million.
The Phase 2 site is at present occupied by 176 shacks and the request for the occupants to voluntarily relocate to other areas identified by the department has been met with violent resistance and protest. The occupants of the shacks in Phase 2 consists of non-qualifiers, those who have refused to sign up and approved beneficiaries that will only benefit when Phase 2 and 3 are completed as per their position on the allocation list.
Due to allegations of corruption in the housing allocation process, these occupants have stopped the contractor from doing work which includes the clearing (relocating people to other areas) and cleaning of Phase 2 for the services to be installed. Phase 2 includes the completion of the bus route from funds received from the CoCT.
A total of 394 units are planned for construction in Phase 2, with a total budget of R59.4 million.