Tshwane gains ground against land invasion
TSHWANE has attended to 4 406 land invasion cases throughout the city since January.
Of the 4 406 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 2 744 complaints of land invasions were attended to and 2 271 of those structures demolished.
Msimanga said in the first quarter of the 201718 financial year (July- September 2017), 1 662 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.