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In a major move aimed at reducing informal settlements, the City of Johannesburg is building nearly 3 000 RDP houses in Region A – which includes Ivory Park and Diepsloot – at a cost of more than R1,1 billion.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Housing, Councillor Dan Bovu says the expenditure is a demonstration of the City’s bold determination to accelerate the elimination of informal settlements and provide Johannesburg people with decent housing.

Project Manager Irene Mokoena says a total of 2 919 RDP houses will be built in Ivory Park, Rabie Ridge/Commercia and Diepsloot during the current financial year in a bid to “wipe out” informal settlements in the region.

“Five construction companies have been appointed to deliver on the project,” says Mokoena.

So far, 500 units have been completed in Ivory Park and 420 in Rabie Ridge.

Mokoena says the city aims to complete the construction by the middle of next year.

“This is because this is not a greenfields project. The construction of an RDP house in this case takes place on the site where the informal structure exists. In that way, the process takes place rather slowly.”

In Diepsloot, work is under way to lay infrastructure for a total of 2 000 units at a cost of R184 million.

MMC Bovu says the shortage of decent housing is one of the most pressing challenges confronting the City, exacerbated by the continued influx of people from other provinces.

“But our responsibility is to address what we see in front of us. In this context, we are confident we will effectively deal with the issue of informal settlements in our city,” says Cllr Bovu.

All in all, there is a total of 10 RDP housing projects on the go in Diepsloot – whose Riversands View Ext 28 has received the largest allocation of 2 000 units – Ivory Park, Rabie Ridge/Commercia and Kanana.

The following is the full allocation of the RDP housing units:

 Diepsloot [Riversands View Ext 28] – 2 000;
 Kanana Wards 4 – 80;
 Commercia Ext 34 - 200;
 Kanana/Commercia Ward 110 – 369; and
 Ivory Park Wards 77, 78, 79, 111 – 450.
The delivery of houses in these areas comes at the back of another massive housing development project west of Soweto.

The Lufhereng development is a collaborative venture between the City and the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements. The project is described as an “integrated urban development that will break new ground”. It is aimed at promoting home ownership and “eradicating service delivery backlogs” in Gauteng.

On completion, the project will “physically, economically and socially” form part of Soweto.​