Pretoria News

Stoffel Park residents vow to fight city’s imminent relocation plan

- TANKISO MAKHETHA

ANGRY residents of Stoffel Park informal settlement in Mamelodi have vowed to fight the City of Tshwane’s attempt to relocate them to other parts of the township.

This comes after they were issued letters informing them they would be permanentl­y relocated to Pienaarspo­ort and Donkerhoek – areas they claim are inhabitabl­e.

The residents said the city’s intention contradict­ed an initial plan, drawn up to formalise the settlement.

“We won’t move from this place because we have been living here for over 10 years. We acknowledg­e that there are some parts of this area that pose a danger to occupants, like those near the river banks and up on the hill.

“Those are the people who need to be moved to safer locations, not the entire community,” resident Gaolahle Toto said.

The city had identified a piece of land near their settlement where they were supposed to be moved while the process of formalisat­ion was under way, he said. “We agreed to that. “The city was meant to connect electricit­y and water while we had moved temporaril­y.

“However, that land is no longer available,” he said.

Toto said the community decided to develop the area as best they could by arranging for a water supply network that would cater for every household.

“Because of the delays and change of plans, we just need the city to meet us halfway by electrify- ing this area. But we will not move,” Toto said.

While the Pretoria News was at the settlement, residents confronted municipal workers who were putting up stickers with stand numbers for the sites they would be moved to.

Rito Manganyi said the letters which they were given about the imminent relocation did not serve as eviction orders, and therefore they did not heed them.

“We do not know what the city’s intention is. But they need to come and address us properly. I am afraid that this might escalate into a violent confrontat­ion,” he said.

However, the City of Tshwane said the relocation process was part of its programme, Re Aga Tshwane (we are building Tshwane), which focused on the eradicatio­n of informal settlement­s.

Mayoral spokesman Blessing Manale said Stoffel Park residents had settled on the municipali­ty’s land illegally.

He said this posed a problem of delivering services as it was also situated on dangerous boundaries (near a river bank which flooded during rainy seasons).

Manale said the city was providing temporary rudimentar­y services at the new sites while working on a long-term and permanent solution.

“The relocation­s are part of the Re Aga Tshwane programme to eradicate informal settlement­s, relocate households from servitude and dangerous areas to permanent serviced stands.

“In this instance, the families will now own the stands legally and have title deeds,” Manale said.

 ?? PICTURE: OUPA MOKOENA ?? Informal settlement residents have letters stating that they will be moved to Pienaarspo­ort and Donkerhoek in Mamelodi East.
PICTURE: OUPA MOKOENA Informal settlement residents have letters stating that they will be moved to Pienaarspo­ort and Donkerhoek in Mamelodi East.

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