Development eNdevana Iphel’emehlweni
By: Yola Kekezwa
October 1, 2004, The Amathole District Municipality (ADM) sought approval from the Buffalo City Municipality to implement a 4400 unit low cost housing project at Ndevana Settlement in a meeting held August 17, 2004.
The two Municipalities at the time resolved that the Amathole District Municipality be appointed implementing agent of the housing project eNdevana. On completion of the project, the Amathole District Municipality was to hand the project back to the BCM.
None of the 4400 housing units promised in 2004 have been delivered. Challenges cited include rejection of “izindlu zama cala” (ABT/Prefabricated housing) by the community.
In an interview ward councillor Nkosinathi Mphathalala said; “We have a verbal agreement with BCMM about the 4400″ housing units from 2004 “to be implemented in stages, starting with the 922 that has been broken down between ward 49 and 40”.
Ndevana resident, Zamile Xobiso, says he is concerned about the elderly in the area “who still stay in mud houses, zininzi izinto ekudala sizikhalazela, abantu barhuqa phantsi noko ngaske kubeko into eyenziwayo even if its temporary”.
The 2012 Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality IDP/Budget Roadshow reads that; Ward 49 raised issues concerning housing, state of roads, access to water and electricity.
Masijongane resident Mam’uNokwanda Kondi says she has been waiting for at least two years for a house; “ndabhalisa at the area that I used to stay, I was one of the first people ababhalisela indlu”.
After moving from the area at which she had registered uMam’uNokwanda was removed from the list and advised that she; “would have to come back xana kuphinde kwabhaliswa. I kept going back to ask ukuba ndindawoni ngoku and they keep telling me the same story’’.
About housing development eNdevane councillor Mphathalala said; “The whole project from 2004 is 4400 for low cost housing, at the moment we have been given 922 houses by the Provincial Department of Human Settlements”.
He elaborates; “Apha kuthi kuzokwakhiwa 377 houses and the other number will be going to ward 40 which used to be part of Ndevana.
“Because of the 2011 Demarcation, they removed ward 40 from our area, the 922 is to accommodate both wards,” he explained.
South African National Civic Organisation’s (SANCO) Chairperson, Mike Mfihlo, who has penned letters pertaining to development issues and community complaints to local government since 2011 says; “I decided to get involved in the housing, toilets, sports field and hall issues eNdevana because of complaints I got from the people.
“I tried to contact the councillor and the municipality about the issues but nothing has been done till this day,’’ and adds; “The councillor informs people about ward meetings but they do not discuss the serious issues of Ndevana”.
Then Provincial Planning and Finance MEC, Phumulo Masualle, delivered his 2013/2014 Speech at the Ndevana Community Hall on March 7, 2013, where reportedly residents were afforded opportunity to participate in government activities.
July 2014, The department of Human Settlements issued a tender bid notice for the construction of 1478 housing units at ward 41 eNdevana.
About local government Mpathalala says, “Amathole was not running the housing project at the time and even now BCMM is doing the same thing that Amathole did when it comes to housing’’.
Mam’uNomisile Mlungwana’s dilapidated home is a household of seven including grandchildren. She says, “Ndabhalisa kudala” when her husband passed away, none of her children work, the family survives on her pension and feels she has “lost hope”.
The Department of Human Settlements then the Department of Housing has since built 16 ABT houses eNdevana “for destitute families”. Reportedly community opposition to ABT housing is said to have led the BCMM to add the Ndevana housing development under its auspice to its 2012 “blocked projects’’ schedule, a list of housing units that would not be implemented at the time.
According to the Human settlements 2013/14 Policy speech; internal planning capacity has been consolidated and a centralised Integrated Human Settlements Special Unit established to; “collaborate with municipalities and maintain a provincial housing project’s register”. The housing project’s register includes; “projects from municipal IDP’s that meet requirements including beneficiary lists approved by municipal councils”.
About ADM’s role in Ndevana councillor Mphathalala said; “Amathole’s involvement here in Ndevana as far as I know was the toilets project which was never finished.
“That is one of the challenges we are faced with at the moment because we don’t know why Amathole left it unfinished,’’ he adds.
Umhlali Ongazichazanga uthe; “Kaloku xana bezibala eza toilet ziyi 1000 kwathiwa zizophelela apha eFreedom, we also want toilets qha ke kwathiwa inani alisivumi so ke kuzoqalwa ngezi zine toilet zakudala but nazo azigqibekanga.
“We don’t know the procedure for building toilets even though sabhalisa sonke and mna ndibhalise kula 322 weziindlu ekuthiwe uzokwakhiwa but you never get a straight answer about housing issues,’’ said the Ndevana resident.
Other challenges in the community include the Ndevana sportsfield, one of 16 sports fields, which formed part of the metro’s 2010 FIFA World Cup sports legacy projects. The Ndevana project is now the subject of a verification audit.
About challenges related to the recently built Ndevana Community hall, umhlali tat’uMakhambi James said; “I was there when the hall was being opened and in one of the meetings we were informed that we have to pay to use the hall, we didn’t understand why.
During the week of September 8-12, 2014, Registration for housing beneficiaries were held (again) at the hall.
April 26, 2016: Operation Winter Warmth 2016 Launched in the Eastern Cape. Al-Imdaad Foundation: