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Housing to be prioritised for military veterans living in Aloe Ridge social housing project in Pietermaritzburg

Human Settlements Minister and Human Settlements and Public Works MEC were responding to the military veterans housing backlog. File Picture: Tumi Pakkies/African News Agency(ANA)

Human Settlements Minister and Human Settlements and Public Works MEC were responding to the military veterans housing backlog. File Picture: Tumi Pakkies/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Dec 14, 2021

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DURBAN - The delivery of houses for military veterans in KwaZulu-Natal will be prioritised over the next few months.

That was according to Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi and Human Settlements and Public Works MEC Jomo Sibiya.

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Kubayi and Sibiya said that the delivery of housing was aimed at responding to the military veterans housing backlog, which has led to some of them illegally occupying the Aloe Ridge social housing project in Pietermaritzburg.

Kubayi was in KZN on Sunday to meet with all the affected stakeholders of Aloe Ridge to find a lasting solution to facilitate the vacating of illegally occupied social housing units in an agreed approach.

Kubayi said: “Whilst we have a duty to look after those who qualify for fully subsidised government houses, we cannot promote the illegal occupation of private properties, anarchy, and lawlessness. This affects service delivery and has no place in a democratic government. We don’t want eviction that will lead to bloodshed or loss of life.”

She took a dim view of some public servants who had taken advantage of the plight of the military veterans by allocating themselves units at the Aloe Ridge housing project.

“We have taken a decision that those public servants must either sign lease agreements or vacate and hand over the keys to the social housing institution within seven days,” Kubayi said.

In addition to prioritising houses for military veterans in the next few months, other decisions taken and agreed upon with the veterans included:

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Department of Human Settlements to provide shelter to the indigent and military veterans, including those who are yet to be confirmed by the Department of Military Veterans until the construction of the BNG units is complete; and

Accelerating the construction of houses within 12 months, ensuring that every new housing project has a percentage allocated to military veterans.

Kubayi acknowledged that the government needed to work hard to avert a situation where military veterans take the law into their own hands, saying: “We are a constitutional democracy based on the rule of law. We remain committed to increasing the pace of housing delivery for all, including military veterans.”

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Both Kubayi and Sibiya also tabled a proposal to the Business Rescue Practitioners of the Aloe Ridge to agree on the staggered evacuation process and relief measures to ensure operational sustainability of the SHI, Capital City Social Housing while measures are being put in place for a permanent solution.

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