Housing graft claim denied
HUMAN settlements MMC in the city Mandla Nkomo has dismissed the allegation that the process to relocate residents of Marry Me informal settlement in Soshanguve to new RDP houses in Extension 19 was tainted with corruption.
Nkomo was reacting to a claim by residents that the slow pace at which the municipality was delivering houses was due to corruption perpetrated by some officials.
The allegation was made by residents during a protest on Tuesday.
But Nkomo said the strong suspicion that the relocation process was ridden with corruption was unfounded and untrue.
According to him, residents made such a claim because they were frustrated and impatient because of the waiting period.
Residents said the protest, which claimed two lives, could have been averted had the city kept its promise of relocating them to Extension 19.
But Nkomo pleaded with residents to be patient, saying those who qualified would be relocated after the city had verified the names of RDP house beneficiaries.
He said the verification process was important to remove the names of people who were previously allocated government houses.
“There is a team that has been formed for the verification process, and it is likely to start its work in two weeks.”
Nkomo expressed his condolences to bereaved families of the people who died during the violent protest.
The people were killed following a confrontation between train commuters and shack dwellers.
“I think it is very disturbing that people had to lose their lives over service delivery in the times of democracy,” Nkomo said.
During the protest, residents blocked the railway line near Kopanong train station in Soshanguve with rocks and burning tyres.
Angry commuters got off the train after it was stopped and attacked the group of residents who had barricaded the railway line.
The commuters also set alight more than 30 shacks belonging to the protesters.
In retaliation, residents cornered some commuters, beat them up and killed one at the scene. Three commuters were seriously injured and rushed to Steve Biko Academic Hospital, where one died on Wednesday.
One of the shacks at the Marry Me informal settlement that were burnt down by angry train commuters on Tuesday.