President Jacob Zuma will on Thursday, 18 July 2013, mark the Nelson Mandela Day by officially handing over houses to the community of Danville, Pretoria West.
Cabinet designated the theme of Mandela Day 2013 as “Take action; inspire change; make every day a Mandela Day” with a focus on food security, shelter and literacy.
The Danville/Elandspoort project was identified as a “Flagship Project” for the eradication of the Bethlehem (Hermanstad) Informal Settlement in Pretoria West, which was occupied by poor White Families; families residing in Road Reserves in the Atteridgeville area and other identified areas in the Pretoria Central and Pretoria West areas.
President Zuma first visited the informal settlement in the Hermanstad area, also referred to as Bethlehem, on the 24th of July 2008 and again on the 30th of March 2010 to witness at first hand the difficulties experienced by the poor white households and to assist in finding solutions to their plight within the framework of existing government assets to policies and programmes.
The land that they occupied in Hermanstad where the informal settlement is located is privately-owned. Some of the concerns the group of white families raised with the President included the availability of social grants to children, the aged and the disabled, the need for land to build houses for the homeless, access to basic health care, public transport and the provision of electricity.
The above concerns, following the two visits by the President, were forwarded to relevant government departments (Gauteng Dept of Human Settlements) as well as the City of Tshwane Municipality for further attention and resolution. Action taken by the Municipality includes the rectification of Council properties in the vicinity of the informal settlement which has been completed and transfer to legitimate beneficiaries, which has been finalised.
The City of Tshwane has also dedicated a mobile clinic to the households of the Hermanstad/ Bethlehem Informal Settlement. The mobile clinic visits the households once a month. In terms of social grants the South African Social Security Agent (SASSA) is a regular visitor in the Hermanstad area for various social development related services. In addition, one high mast light and 50 street lights have been installed in the vicinity of the settlement.
Government undertook to promote non-racial settlements and the marking of Mandela Day in this manner will pay a befitting tribute to Madiba, the founding President who laid the foundation for nation building and reconciliation.