On Tuesday, 20 November 2018, the City of Johannesburg’s social housing entity, JOSHCO (Johannesburg Social Housing Company, launched the Turffontein Social Housing Project comprised of 525 units.
This marks an important step in the City’s efforts to respond to the most urgent needs of residents with safe and affordable housing being a priority.
The R191-million development is comprised of an inner courtyard with a play area for children in each block. There is ample space for parking in the precinct and a biometric access control system with technological advanced neighbourhoods that have access to recreational facilities and amenities.
This cosmopolitan project consists of one-bedroom and two-bedroom communal rental units targeting people earning between R1 500 and R15 000 a month.
For the purpose of transparency, JOSHCO hosted an Open Day for residents who are interested in affordable rental accommodation in Turffontein. The aim was to give interested parties an opportunity to understand the criteria to quality for accommodation.
At today’s event, I also stressed the importance of ensuring that units are only occupied by those legally permitted to occupy the units – our poorest residents.
Indeed, following complaints I received from residents, I order an audit into the legal status of occupants occupying City properties.I expect that said report will be presented at the end of March 2019.
The audit will look into the following factors:
- That only rightful tenants are occupying the units and that no subletting should be taking place;
- Determine the nationality of the occupants; and
- Look into socio-economic conditions of occupants (i.e. household income and employment status).
In addition to this, during today’s launch, I also stressed the importance of ensuring that the units are not used as sites for illegally operating churches and shebeens; we need to ensure that the rule of law is maintained within the City.
Upon entering government, I discovered a housing backlog of over 300 000 of people who can afford to pay for accommodation. However, this missing middle income group are comprised of individuals who are above the income threshold to qualify for RDP housing and fall short of qualifying for bonds.
It is for this reason that providing access to opportunities for residents to live in dignified dwellings is one of the ways this multi-party government ensures to deliver services. I commend the commitment shown by the MMC for Housing, Cllr Meshack Van Wyk, and the stern leadership at JOSHCO provided by Mr Tumelo Mlangeni and Mr Christopher Dyani in this regard.
Building on these efforts for affordable housing, earlier this year, the City Council approved the release of 84 buildings which are earmarked for the regeneration of the inner-city. The development of these buildings will take place through public private partnerships with developers within the city.
These 84 buildings will deliver an estimated 4 000 units for student accommodation, small business premises and even more affordable accommodation for some of our poorest residents.