NGWENYA HIGH­WAY OWN­ER­SHIP DIS­PUTE

Sunday Observer - - NEWS - BY FOR­TUNE NDLANGAMANDLA

Is some­one sleep­ing on the job? 18 years later, the govern­ment still does not in wholly own the Ngwenya high­way also known as the MR3. The Ngwenya high­way was con­structed back in 1999; it was built by govern­ment un­der the min­istry of pub­lic works and trans­port.

In­for­ma­tion gath­er­ing by this pub­li­ca­tion was that govern­ment is still at log­ger­heads with some of the ‘old cit­i­zens’ of Ngwenya Vil­lage.

The bone of con­tention is some cit­i­zens are not will­ing to sur­ren­der their old ti­tle deeds to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity so they can be given new ones that are in ac­cor­dance with the cur­rent land al­lo­cated to them.

The ‘old cit­i­zens’ are still hold­ing on to their old ti­tle deeds, that has re­sults in them still own­ing parts of the high­way. Even though, it is not clear why they do not want to give up on their old ti­tle deeds but in­for­ma­tion gath­ered is that they are not happy with the cur­rent por­tion of land al­lo­cated to them.

Source said govern­ment was still try­ing to gain full own­er­ship of the road lead­ing to the Ngwenya Bor­der Gate. The road was still reg­is­tered to be owned by a farmer while in be­longs to the state.

In­for­ma­tion ob­tained from a re­li­able source was that, even where trucks usu­ally park at the bor­der still be­longs to a farmer.

This has left govern­ment with lit­tle or no say at all with some of the daily re­al­ity it ac­tiv­i­ties tak­ing place men­tioned areas.

Ngwenya Town Clerk, Phumzile Sha­bal­ala con­firmed that there are some prop­er­ties that were slashed dur­ing the high­way’s con­struc­tion.

“What we know is that the process of re-al­lo­cat­ing of land wasn’t fi­nalised. in these afore- The town board and the min­istry of pub­lic works and trans­port are cur­rently try­ing to fi­nalise the is­sue of land re­lo­cat­ing,” Sha­bal­ala re­vealed.

She went on to men­tion that the process of land re­lo­cat­ing will en­able govern­ment and the af­fected cit­i­zens to right­fully own what re­ally’s theirs. She in­sisted that govern­ment was work­ing tire­less, try­ing to re­solve the is­sue and fur­ther en­cour­aged all af­fected cit­i­zens to en­gage the town board.

“They are on­go­ing meet­ings be­tween the town board, min­istry of pub­lic works and trans­port and sur­vey­ors,” Sha­bal­ala re­vealed.

She dis­puted claims that some of the cit­i­zens were not in pos­ses­sion of ti­tle deeds. Mabuza gave a clar­i­fi­ca­tion that some were still hold­ing on to old ti­tle deeds which in­clude some of the land por­tions that at present time be­long to govern­ment.

“It’s not true that they don’t have ti­tle deeds but they don’t have ti­tle deeds that re­flect the cur­rent land own­er­ship,” Sha­bal­ala clar­i­fied.

She also high­lighted that this was her sec­ond year in of­fice and she had been work­ing around the clock to make sure that all par­ties reach a mu­tual agree­ment. She added that an­other thing was also caus­ing a de­lay in solv­ing this is­sue was that it in­volves many dif­fer­ent govern­ment de­part­ments.

“It in­volves the min­istry of pub­lic works and trans­port who are the con­struc­tors of the road, sur­veyor gen­eral who is re­spon­si­ble of al­lo­cat­ing the land and the min­istry of hous­ing and ur­ban devel­op­ment be­cause that is where mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties sub­scribe to. It also in­volved the deeds of­fice,” she noted. She said the meet­ings usu­ally take place but chal­lenges be­gan when one key mem­ber is not present. She fur­ther en­cour­aged all par­ties in­volve to come to­gether and solve this pend­ing is­sue.

Ef­forts to get a com­ment from the Min­istry of Pub­lic Works and Trans­port were in­ef­fec­tive.

Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary, Makhosini Mn­dawe’s phone rang unan­swered while Min­is­ter Lindiwe Dlamini when called did not an­swer but sent a mes­sage say­ing she was in a meet­ing.

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