Redcliff says ex-Zisco workers to keep houses

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Redcliff Municipality has thrown a lifeline to former Ziscosteel employees after the local authority indicated that they are not going to lose their houses.
The local authority has, through the government initiative of the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP), received $500 000 which is earmarked for the upgrade of housing units in the steelworks suburbs.
Redcliff had initially targeted to upgrade 800 housing units.
“We had initially planned to upgrade 800 housing units but failed after we only received $500 000 from government through the PSIP,” Redcliff Mayor Freddy Kapuya said in an interview.
The housing units which were built during the colonial period were mostly semi-detached and were failing to meet approved standards as people were still sharing communal wash rooms, toilets and ablution facilities.
Speaking in a full council meeting this week, Kapuya told councillors that they had requested $1, 1million for the completion of the upgrading exercise.
“We, however, managed to receive $500 000 and we are going to put 400 units under refurbishment. We are now going to the tendering process where we are looking for a company to upgrade the housing units,” he said.
The local authority and the former employees who were council’s tenants were at logger heads over the occupation of the houses which were handed over to council by Ziscosteel over two decades ago.
Redcliff in 2015 received serious condemnation after it ejected the former employees from the houses amongst the worst affected was then 93 year old Watubai Imani who was taking care of her son who was on Anti Retro Viral drugs treatment.
Nineteen families were then left in the open after the municipality engaged the Messenger of Court’s Deputy Sheriff to evict tenants who owed council varying amounts in unpaid arrears.
In the same year, the local authority put up the houses for sale to sitting tenants.
The mayor indicated that most of the tenants in the houses were former Ziscosteel employees.