Mossel Bay UISP Community Meeting 21 July 2022

The Department of Human Settlements representative Mr. David Alli (Pr Pln) of the Informal Settlement Support Unit from Cape Town attended a UISP meeting with the Phase 1 Transand and Emfuleni (including Growing Hope) communities on Thursday 21st July evening at 18:00.

Prior to the meeting, Mr Alli and Zutari visited the temporary relocation area (TRA) construction site and highlighted that the Mossel Bay UISP is having added advantage of having a TRA as well as storage units approved, whereas at other projects, often no TRA is used and there were no storage facilities available. He further applauded the exertion of the Regional Team and the Municipality in persuading the Department to support the TRA funding.

The team also walked through a portion of the Emfuleni informal settlement to contextualise the average sizes of the current informal structures.  What he found is that most of the structures are smaller or similar size to the TRA units proposed. Some are slightly bigger and with exception of a few that are quite bigger.  This showcased the complexity of relocating the affected beneficiaries to the TRA to make way for underground infrastructure.  During his walk about, he highlighted that careful consideration must be given to the different sizes of the families and the different sizes of the structures when relocating the beneficiaries to the TRA.  He said a blanket rule cannot apply to everyone.  Some families might need additional space to accommodate the bigger size of the families, and where the structures are big with a lot of furniture, consideration should be given to accommodate their needs in addition to the TRA units.  He advised the Municipality and Zutari to do a proper assessment of each family in the planning stage of the relocation strategy. 

Rudolf Schröder, the Zutari Project Manager explained that furniture and household belongings will fit into the TRA unit for a family up to 4 members.  He explained that consideration will be given on how families are assembled, the size of the family and the current informal structure – this will determine whether further assistance to be provided to the beneficiaries. The storage unit is intended for storing of building materials. If families choose, they can also store furniture and goods in the storage unit.

The team also visited the Transand area to observe the current construction activities, layout, the positioning of the Scrapyard, and the position where the vegetable garden and play area for the children are being accommodated. 

The community meeting started at 18:00 at the Kwanonqaba Hall.  Approximately 300 community members, including the BLCs of Emfuleni (including Growing Hope) attended the meeting.

The community had several concerns about the size of the TRA Units, the storage facility, and the erf sizes. 

The meeting was chaired by Mr Lindilizwi Mngxekeza (Manager Integrated Human Settlements – Mossel Bay Municipality) with presentations made by Rudolf Schroder, and David Alli.  Cllr Sibabalo (Ward Councillor of Ward 1) also facilitated the discussion.

The presentation made at the meeting can be viewed here:

Mr. Madie Komape Project Manager assigned to the project from WCDHS was also present at the meeting. David Alli, Lindilizwi Mngxekeza and Rudolf Schröder accommodated the concerns of the community and responded to all the concerns raised.  The following facts were put to the community:

  • The TRA is a temporary relocation area.
  • The people that will need to be relocated in the current phase of construction will only stay in the TRA for a maximum of two months depending on the pace of contractor.
  • Ultimately 250 Units are being build, which means 250 beneficiary households can stay in the TRA at once.
  • The implementation will happen over a phased period, which means the TRA will fill up – the 250 units are needed so that the execution of the project can be successful.
  • The first 99 households in Emfuleni need to be moved to pave way for construction purposes.  This will allow for the development of the first serviced sites, roads, as well as sewerage pipelines, and water pipelines required to connect the serviced sites to the grid.  The serviced sites will also be provided with electricity connections.
  • Once the serviced sites are ready, the households at the TRA will move back to a fully developed serviced site.
  • Each serviced site will have its own toilet and water connection, with formal tarred roads.
  • The qualifying beneficiaries will get a title deed as proof of ownership of their stand, but all beneficiaries will receive the right to occupy the stand.

It was discussed that not all the households affected Phase 1 will be assisted within TRA units and special consideration will be given to households in need of bigger spaces as per the community demands. There are merits to the demand of a bigger space and the Zutari Team, municipality together with the BLC will look into solutions for special cases. The UISP team will work closely with the Cllr, the BLC members, and the CLO to make sure that the merits of allocating TRA units to the households are adhered to.  The merits are:

  • Information obtained during the verification process that shows the size of the family that must be relocated
  • The size of the structure at the time of the verification process (photo evidence on record)
  • The size and composition of the family.
  • To assess each household’s situation individually before allocation of TRA unit.
  • If needed, visit TRA with the household so that they can be prepared and plan accordingly.

There was not consensus about how the TRA units will be occupied and the BLC’s and half of the community left the meeting. The half that stayed behind agreed about the approach to allocate TRA units.

There was a discussion about the erf sizes. The Municipality and Zutari’s team did several erf size demonstrations.  Only approximately 1% of erven designed are smaller than 60 m2.  The erven in Kwanonqaba were densified because of the ever-growing population and the topographic challenges.  When the project started in 2017 only approximately 3600 households were surveyed.  In 2022 the estimate is 6500 households and growing.

The estimated number of people who will be positively impacted by the overall project is roughly 30 000 people.

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