KEETMANSHOOP – The municipality of Keetmanshoop has embarked on a private-public partnership to restore the dignity of residents living in the informal settlement at the town.
Gereres informal settlement can only accommodate 300 residents but more than 600 people now live in the area.
Municipal spokesperson Dawn Kruger said council is concerned it is not only unhealthy but also unsafe for residents residing in these areas.
“With due consideration, that crime prevail at these areas during night time whilst people might get exposed to dangerous chemicals, the municipality resolved to move these vulnerable citizens to more liveable areas,” she explained.
She said this initiative will now provide council the opportunity to properly demarcate erven in Gereres to prevent overcrowding, causing health and safety hazards.
“This will now give the municipality ample opportunity to service erven in the new area (Babylon) to provide our less fortunate with decent living conditions,” said the spokesperson.
She also said these erven will, however, due to the current economic climate, be sold on the basis of affordability, making it sold at reasonable rates.
“Our aim here is to decongest the population in informal settlements to make life healthier and safer for our residents,” she said.
She also said although council provided flush toilets and pre-paid water meters, the demand for basic services keeps on increasing in terms of the supply due to urbanisation.
Casual workers are flocking to town daily when employers can not afford them anymore because of the devastating effects of Covid-19,” she said.
Kruger went on to say that council made land available freely to the developer who will, in return, service the plots partially. She also said when these people relocate, emergency services like the fire brigade and ambulances can now access them more easily.