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COVID-19: Bay moves disabled, elderly from densely populated shacks

Apr 24, 2020
COVID-19: Bay moves disabled, elderly from densely populated shacks

Port Elizabeth - The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has decisively responded to the call for the de-densification of densely populated shack areas.

On Thursday, the City handed over 10 temporary housing structures to disabled and frail elderly residents who have been staying in densely populated areas in different areas across the City.

The new housing structures have been placed in serviced sites in Motherwell Nu 29.

The beneficiaries also signed a security of tenure agreement to confirm that the sites belonged to them.

Speaking at his new temporary house, wheelchair-bound Thobile Saza spoke about the peace of mind it brought him.

"I have been very worried about the conditions I was living under. The high population density exposed me to a greater chance of infection. Now that I have a site that I can call mine, I am overwhelmed. I feel that my dignity has been restored," said Saza.

This programme has a two-fold aim. Firstly, to fight the spread of COVID-19 within the most vulnerable groups of society and, secondly, to realise the NMBM Human Settlements housing allocation policy, which favours the most vulnerable members of society.

"I would also like to thank the Municipality for recognising that vulnerable groups like us must be prioritised, not only during the COVID-19 disaster, but in their long-term plans, added Saza.

The ten housing structures to be handed over tomorrow form part of a broader plan in terms of which the City seeks to provide descent temporary housing alternatives while beneficiaries await the approval of their subsidy and the construction of their homes.

NMBM Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Andile Mfunda, said that the de-densfication programme was part of the institution's short- to medium-term plans.

"As bad as it is for a person to be infected by COVID-19, the repercussions become more severe for the disabled and elderly members of society. It is then critical that they be at the top of our agenda," said Councillor Mfunda.

More than a thousand temporary structures are expected to be provided for this financial year, with the greater part of these to be provided at the beginning of the next financial year.

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