Doomed dolomitic land endangers more than 135 000 shacks and 400 000 people

Janet Semple MPL

Spokesperson on Housing

Settlements on dangerous dolomitic ground threaten more than 400 000 people in 136 861 shacks across 62 informal settlements in Gauteng.

The DA in Gauteng pursued the issue following a report by the Gauteng City Region Observatory indicating the large numbers of poor people that live on potentially dangerous ground – often in low income and informal settlements across the province. Dolomite is notorious because it softens over time, inevitably causing sinkholes.

Unfortunately Gauteng Local Government and Housing MEC Ntombi Mekgwe’s reply to my written question leaves much to be desired. The department clearly still has no effective strategy to relocate those in danger, and current plans do not cater for the vast amount affected. This despite the department embarking on a major campaign in 2011 to start relocating people living on doomed land.

The detailed breakdown by metropolitan municipality of people affected is as follows:

Metro Units People West Rand 33 266 99 800 Ekurhuleni 52 774 158 322 Tshwane 31 821 95 463 Johannesburg 19 000 57 000

I will write to the MEC requesting detailed information about the timelines for moving people, where they will be moved and whether the relocation will be permanent or temporary.

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