The eThekwini Municipality's Executive Committee (Exco) is negotiating the release of vast tracts of privately land for a housing project in
the affluent North of Durban area, according to an eThekwini media release.
The 1 200ha of land in Cornubia (Mount Edgecombe North) is owned by Tongaat-Hullets Developments.
Exco says in the release that negotiations were currently under way with the private land developer to release the land into the hands of the City. Although the land has a potential of generating in excess of 73 000 units, the Municipality intends building 25 000 low and middle income units in the first phase of the project.
Nigel Gumede who chairs the City's Housing, Cleansing, Solid Waste and Human Resources Committee said the Cornubia project would first cater for earners from the low and middle income brackets and later upper income earners.
He said the project would start in less than six months, once the City had signed a memorandum of understanding with Tongaat-Hullets.
Gumede said negotiations with Tongaat-Hullets were promising and the company had shown a willingness to work with the City. "It is envisaged that a combination of double storey, row, walk up and other housing typologies would be developed to maximise the full capacity of Cornubia," he said.
eThekwini Mayor Obed Mlaba said the aim was to meet the City's target of eradicating all slums by 2014 and promoting economic activity in the north of the City.
"Currently most of the industries are concentrated on the South of the city. We have therefore opted for an integrated approach that will provide housing and employment opportunities in the North of the city."
Mlaba said the proposed project had the blessing of both Provincial and National Government. He likened the project to another of its kind in Johannesburg. "I've heard that Cosmo City is huge, this one is going to be massive."
Mlaba also allayed fears that the project was likely to undermine property prices and the City's rates base in the Mount Edgecombe area.
"Our planning and layout has taken into consideration all these factors, if anything, people are likely to be motivated by their neighbours to also improve their homes," he said. In the first phase 15 000 houses will be built for the low-income bracket, those earning between R0-R1500 pm, and 10 000 houses will be built for middle-income
earners, between R1500-R3500