Tsh­wane gains ground against land in­va­sion

The New Age (Free State) - - GAUTENG NEWS - NTOMBI NKOSI ntombin@the­newage.co.za

TSH­WANE has at­tended to 4406 land in­va­sion cases through­out the city since Jan­uary.

Of the 4406 un­law­fully erected struc­tures, the city de­mol­ished 3 161.

“In so do­ing, we have iden­ti­fied land parcels to move our res­i­dents ei­ther to tem­po­rary ser­viced stands or per­mit dwellings pur­suant to leg­is­la­tion gov­ern­ing evic­tions,” Tsh­wane mayor Solly Msi­manga said.

He said between Jan­uary and June, about 2744 com­plaints of land in­va­sions were at­tended to and 2271 of those struc­tures de­mol­ished.

Msi­manga said in the first quar­ter of the 2017-18 fi­nan­cial year (July-Septem­ber 2017), 1662 com­plaints were dealt with and a to­tal of 890 un­law­ful struc­tures were de­mol­ished.

He said it was im­por­tant to note that not all land in­va­sions can be dealt with due to some of the land be­ing owned by other spheres of govern­ment or pri­vate own­ers, which com­pli­cated the process to some de­gree.

“The re­peated spate of land in­va­sions and the vi­o­lent na­ture in which they man­i­fest is to be con­demned.

“While we fully ap­pre­ci­ate the frus­tra­tions of res­i­dents in our city, the un­law­ful seizure of land does not in fact help but serves to ex­ac­er­bate hard­ship down the line.

“This is be­cause it dis­torts the hous­ing back­log and makes it un­fair for those res­i­dents who have been wait­ing pa­tiently, some of them since 1998.

“As such we call on res­i­dents to not al­low them­selves to be used as po­lit­i­cal pawns for an ANC in Tsh­wane that can­not ac­cept its elec­toral de­feat.

“We en­cour­age them to work to­gether with the new ad­min­is­tra­tion that is work­ing tire­lessly to en­sure that all el­i­gi­ble peo­ple get ac­cess to the hous­ing they re­quire and not just the con­nected few as was seen through­out the ANC’s ten­ure in Tsh­wane,” Msi­manga said.

He said meet­ing the de­mand for hous­ing re­mains one of the city’s big­gest chal­lenges as can be ev­i­denced by the ex­is­tence of in­for­mal set­tle­ments.

The law en­force­ment agen­cies would con­tinue to mon­i­tor land in­va­sions through­out the city.

“Un­der the lead­er­ship of this DAled mul­ti­party ad­min­is­tra­tion we have com­mit­ted our­selves to speed­ing up the erad­i­ca­tion of in­for­mal set­tle­ments (Project Ti­rane) and to pro­mot­ing se­cu­rity of ten­ure through the pro­vi­sion of proper hous­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties,” he said.

The main strate­gic fo­cus for hous­ing de­vel­op­ment is on cre­at­ing sus­tain­able hous­ing which is lo­cated close to eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties.

This is high­lighted in the Tsh­wane 2055 Growth and De­vel­op­ment Strat­egy (GDS) com­paction and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion ap­proach to com­bat ur­ban sprawl and in­crease eco­nomic sus­tain­abil­ity.

Var­i­ous ob­sta­cles to achiev­ing sus­tain­able hous­ing are out­lined within the GDS:

• The rate of for­mal hous­ing de­liv­ery is not keep­ing pace with the ex­pan­sion of in­for­mal set­tle­ments

• The for­mal­i­sa­tion of ex­ist­ing set­tle­ments is a lengthy, com­plex process

• In­for­mal set­tle­ments do not com­ply with build­ing reg­u­la­tions

• In­fe­rior ac­cess to so­cial fa­cil­i­ties such as li­braries, pub­lic ameni­ties and clin­ics

•In­fe­rior trans­port fa­cil­i­ties and in­fra­struc­ture.

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