31 August 2014

South Africa: Commission to Speed Up KZN's Infrastructure Backlog

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu says the Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission, established by the province, will help speed up the delivery of basic services such as houses and the eradication of the bucket toilet system.

The commission, which would facilitate the speedy collective co-ordination of all infrastructure programmes and projects in the province, was adopted by the Provincial Executive Council in their recent Lekgotla.

It will also seek to provide a platform for all national, provincial and key municipal infrastructure delivery agents to share information on and align long term infrastructure planning for the province.

Premier Mchunu said the commission will speak to a Statistics SA report released recently which showed that the use of the bucket toilet system had increased in three provinces between 2012 and 2013.

According to the report, the Non-Financial Census of Municipalities of June 2013, the Eastern Cape, North West, and KwaZulu-Natal reported increases.

Premier Mchunu said in the next five years, the provincial government will focus on the creation of comprehensive human settlements and eradication of slums and informal dwellings in the long term.

South African, Premier Mchunu said, has made significant advances in the delivery houses which currently stands at of 3.3 million houses nationally of which 514 604 were built in KwaZulu-Natal.

With regards to the bucket system, the Premier said he was concerned that despite the fact that the bucket toilet system had been eradicated in 2012, the Stats SA report shows that by June 2013 there were 1 585 new households using this system.

"This is the most humiliating system which we are determined to eradicate whenever and wherever it is reported.

"We are committed to ensuring that all spheres of government work with tighter co-ordination and sharper timetables to fast-track the construction of quality housing on suitable land, particularly in urban areas."

He also committed to resolving challenges such as the protracted delays by the local, district and metropolitan municipalities, regarding the provision of bulk infrastructure water, sanitation and electricity.

He said they were moving with speed with the slums clearance project because they have realised that slums makes it possible for people to use the bucket toilet system.

To date, there are 114 slum clearance projects in the province, located mostly in urban areas.

Twenty-nine projects are currently under construction and 85 are undergoing various town planning and related planning activities.

Seventy seven of the 114 slum clearance projects are located in the Ethekwini Metro, of which most are in the Northern Region, under town planning and related planning activities.

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