Blame game over unfinished project proving to be dead end
THERE are numerous pockets of land in Gauteng that have been expropriated for future “service delivery” needs.
Chief among these are land parcels the Department of Roads and Transport set aside for the implementation of future road infrastructure.
In some cases, there are residential structures on the land that, in terms of policy, should be leased in order to extract maximum economic value for the provincial government until the roads are eventually built.
Due to fiscal constraints brought about by a struggling global economy as well as the ANC’s poor political decision making, the Gauteng government has not had the resources to build the roads.
As a result, the land is lying fallow and has not been maintained, which has negatively affected the rights of residents in surrounding areas.
The unmaintained assets have had a major impact on the residential amenity of the surrounding areas.
In some cases, illegal tenants inhabit the buildings and in others, the buildings are stripped brick by brick.
Whole illegal informal settlements have emerged on some of this land and in some cases, the residents of the settlements are armed, and threaten anyone who wishes to deal with the theft of services and the poor security environment.
Of no help is the finger-pointing about who is to blame between the Department of Infrastructure Development, which is the custodian of government property, and the Department of Roads and Transport, which own the land.
Neither of the departments has budgeted for the maintenance and management of these assets, nor have they taken responsibility for the oversight thereof.
Residents affected by this situation believe that they have been abandoned by the government and are considering turning to the courts in an attempt to safeguard their rights.
If the Gauteng government is as caring as it claims to be then the premier, David Makhura, and the MECs for the various departments need to apply their minds and find solutions that are in everyone’s interests.
We in the DA are watching the situation closely.
Residents feel abandoned by the government
DA member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature