City of Tshwane undertakes a bulk infrastructure assessment meeting for hostels

Recently, in my capacity as MMC for Human Settlements, working together with the Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements and Infrastructure Development, Mr Lebogang Maile, we hosted a stakeholder meeting with the Tshwane Hostel Indonas and ward councillors to discuss the bulk water, sewer and electricity infrastructure at hostels. The invitation was extended to all 65 hostels in Gauteng.

The Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) together with municipalities have pronounced on the Hostel Redevelopment Strategy to eradicate hostels and replace them with sustainable integrated human settlements. Following the pronunciation, the City of Tshwane embarked on the implementation of the Urban Development Framework, which has seen two successful public participation sessions at the Mamelodi and Saulsville Hostels.

The strategy to redevelop hostel into precincts came as a result of overcrowding and the erection of shacks on the hostel grounds, thus adding pressure on the ageing bulk infrastructure, which was designed for a fraction of the population that is currently living at the hostels.

The City and GPG take cognisance that it would be difficult to comprehensively eradicate hostels and transform them without a significant focus on bulk infrastructure. Owing to a prolonged state of neglect, the bulk infrastructure for all hostels has become a health hazard and physical danger to people living in and around these areas.

Sewer and water pipe bursts, sewer spillages, water leakages, open manholes, failing electricity infrastructure, illegal electricity connections and unpartitioned ablution facilities which are in a serious state of disrepair are things that can be found at all hostels in Gauteng, including Mamelodi and Saulsville.

In line with transforming the hostels, the City has decided to appoint the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development as the implementing agent to undertake the bulk infrastructure assessment of all hostels, including the Mamelodi and Saulsville Hostels.

With the goal being to develop new settlements, this exercise will also make recommendations on high-level and preliminary bulk infrastructure design proposals for future developments.

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