Housing minister discusses order for Skull, Plastic City squatters

Minister of Housing and Water Irfaan Ali told Skull and Plastic City residents that his ministry will be using a two-pronged approach when regularising those areas.

A Government Information Agency (GINA) press release said Ali made these comments during a Cabinet Outreach exercise in the Region Three squatter settlements. Ali said 24 persons from Skull City have been documented as squatters since 2000. He noted too that some of those persons are living within the boundaries of a burial ground.

The minister said regularisation exercises will be carried out and a technical team will be visiting the area to conduct an occupational survey. Each house would be identified and given a number and a demarcation plan would be put into effect. Persons living in the burial ground will be removed.

GINA said an occupational survey has already been done in Plastic City and the minister had earlier expressed his displeasure that on completion of the survey more persons started to squat in the area. Plastic City is located near the Atlantic Ocean and adverse weather conditions threaten the livelihood of persons living there. Ali said due to rising sea levels any investment in the area is a risk. In the light of this a risk assessment will be done in the area and some persons may have to be relocated.

Meanwhile, Plastic City residents said they are satisfied with the efforts government has so far made in regularising the area. They also said the area is often affected by flooding.

According to GINA the ministry will also be assessing squatting along a dam in the Ruimveldt squatting area. Persons inhabiting the area are hindering the cleaning and de-silting of the drainage canal. GINA said too over the years the ministry has found that some squatting areas cannot be converted into housing schemes as people occupy areas that are unsuitable.

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