‘Hou­sing: don’t in­va­de, rat­her enga­ge’

Knysna-Plett Herald - - News | Nuus -

Knys­na Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty is dee­ply con­cer­ned a­bout re­cent vi­o­lent pu­blic pro­tes­ts a­round hou­sing.

Knys­na ma­yor Mark Wil­lem­se said, “We ackno­w­led­ge that pe­op­le are f­ree to exe­r­ci­se their con­sti­tu­ti­o­nal rig­hts by voi­cing their con­cerns, but we cau­ti­on re­si­dents a­gainst in­ju­ring ot­hers and van­da­li­sing in­fra­struc­tu­re. We ask re­si­dents who ha­ve grie­van­ces to con­ti­nue to enga­ge with the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty through for­mal chan­nels. Mu­ni op­po­ses il­le­gal in­va­si­ons

“The Knys­na Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty wis­hes to sta­te it is com­ple­te­ly op­po­sed to any il­le­gal land in­va­si­ons. The mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty needs to en­s­u­re that the in­te­re­sts of all a­wai­ting be­ne­fi­ci­a­ries as well as of the com­mu­ni­ty at lar­ge are ba­lan­ced. We ur­ge the com­mu­ni­ty to re­frain from any un­la­w­ful acti­vi­ty and ap­pe­al to them to coope­ra­te with the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty. We ha­ve no op­ti­on but to en­for­ce and up­hold the law and are the­re­fo­re com­pel­led to re­mo­ve any il­le­gal struc­tu­res on in­va­ded land,” he said. On­going dis­cus­si­ons

“We ha­ve on­going dis­cus­si­ons and enga­ge­ments (through ward and IDP meet­ings) with the com­mu­ni­ties of Knys­na re­gar­ding the hu­man sett­le­ments stra­te­gies, plans, and im­ple­men­ta­ti­on of ap­pro­ved pi­peli­ne pro­jects. Our hu­man sett­le­ments de­part­ment has ma­de ap­pli­ca­ti­ons to the pro­vin­ci­al hu­man sett­le­ments de­part­ment ba­sed on the agreed plans and in­for­med the com­mu­ni­ties through pu­blic meet­ings of all the re­la­ted pro­ces­ses.”

The ma­yor sta­ted that so­me of the re­cent pro­tes­ts that cau­sed clo­su­re of the N2 we­re not re­la­ted to ser­vi­ce de­li­very, but rat­her took the form of cri­mi­nal acti­vi­ty. “On the nig­ht of Wed­nes­day 20 Ju­ne I was shoc­ked to le­arn of pro­tes­ts on the N2 at Nekkies as we had en­joy­ed fruit­ful enga­ge­ments e­ar­lier that day. T­his protest in­vol­ved loot­ing of trucks, thro­wing of sto­nes, and bur­ning ty­res and trucks and was a pu­re­ly cri­mi­nal act, which we strongly con­demn. Such acti­vi­ties ha­ve di­re con­se­quen­ces for the i­ma­ge and in­fra­struc­tu­re of Knys­na, at a ti­me w­hen we are stri­ving to build a bet­ter fu­tu­re for all. Ze­ro to­le­ran­ce ap­pro­ach

“In or­der to pro­tect the as­sets and in­fra­struc­tu­re of our to­wn we are ta­king a ze­ro to­le­ran­ce ap­pro­ach to il­le­gal acti­vi­ties li­ke t­he­se. Any pu­blic dis­or­der will be de­alt with col­lecti­ve­ly with ot­her go­vern­ment law re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ves such as the SAPS and pu­blic or­der po­li­ce. …We can­not af­ford the e­co­no­mic de­cli­ne that thre­a­tens our to­wn due to such il­le­gal be­ha­vi­our.” Va­ri­ous pro­jects in pi­peli­ne

Va­ri­ous In­te­gra­ted Hu­man Sett­le­ments pro­jects are fo­re­cast in the Knys­na Mu­ni­ci­pal Vi­si­on 2002, which aims to up­gra­de and pro­vi­de the ne­ces­sa­ry ci­vil in­fra­struc­tu­re for pro­vi­si­on of low-in­co­me hou­ses. The pur­po­se of t­his vi­si­on is to up­gra­de 10 ex­is­ting in­for­mal sett­le­ments: Qol­we­ni, Hap­py Valley, Et­hem­be­ni, F­len­ters, Hla­la­ni, Bloem­fon­tein, Con­cor­dia, Dam-se-Bos, Nekkies and Ou­pad.

Ad­ded Wil­lem­se, “In Sed­ge­field fi­ve si­tes ha­ve been i­den­ti­fied for fu­tu­re In­te­gra­ted Hu­man Sett­le­ments pro­jects, and we ple­ad with re­si­dents not to build on the sand du­nes as t­his is un­sta­ble and unsa­fe.

“P­ri­or to the land in­va­si­on in Sed­ge­field, the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty was pro­acti­ve and ap­poin­ted an en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­fes­si­o­nal to con­duct a stu­dy on re­ha­bi­li­ta­ti­on of the du­ne.

Ho­we­ver, re­cent acti­vi­ties will ha­ve an im­pact on the re­sults of the stu­dy. The a­rea at t­his sta­ge can­not be clas­si­fied as sa­fe and sta­ble … We ur­ge re­si­dents not to build the­re. We ha­ve the Red Ants mo­ni­to­ring the a­rea as a pre­cau­ti­o­na­ry me­a­su­re to en­s­u­re that no struc­tu­res are e­rected on the du­ne in or­der to pro­tect hu­man li­fe.” Up­da­tes to be com­mu­ni­ca­ted

Up­da­tes will be pro­vi­ded to ward coun­cil­lors to com­mu­ni­ca­te the pro­gress through ward and hou­sing com­mit­tees.

Hou­sing ap­pli­cants are re­min­ded that al­lo­ca­ti­ons are ma­de in terms of the pres­cri­bed me­a­su­res in the se­lecti­on cri­te­ria of the hou­sing sub­sidy sy­stem. To le­arn mo­re a­bout the sy­stem, p­le­a­se vi­sit the We­stern Ca­pe Hu­man Sett­le­ments web­si­te at www. wes­ter­n­ca­pe.gov.za/ser­vi­ce/all-you-need-kno­wa­bout-hou­sing-sub­si­dies.

P­le­a­se re­port land in­va­si­ons to the mu­ni­ci­pal law en­for­ce­ment te­am on 060 998 7002.

– Sup­p­lied by KM

P­ho­to: S­te­fan Goo­sen

Re­si­dents of S­muts­vil­le, Sed­ge­field set fi­re to va­ri­ous ob­jects du­ring their hou­sing pro­tes­ts in Ju­ne, which saw them clash with Pu­blic Or­der Po­li­cing u­nits.

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