Blame game over un­fin­ished project prov­ing to be dead end

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Alan Fuchs

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

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