Bapsfontein relocation ‘a case of urgency’

2011-01-04 14:20

The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality today denied the relocation of residents from the Bapsfontein informal settlement was politically motivated.

Metro spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said the decision to move the residents during the festive season to Chief Albert Luthuli Park had nothing to do with politics, but was because it was an emergency.

The Bapsfontein informal settlement was declared a local state of disaster which was not safe for human settlement due to dolomite instability.

Dolomite is soluble and over time dissolves, posing a danger to people living on dolomitic land where cave-ins known as sink holes eventually occur.

“So urgent was the situation that we had to cancel holidays,” said Dlamini.

Local Democratic Alliance councillor Benno Robinson said “the decision to relocate these residents had absolutely nothing to do with their safety and everything to do with moving more potential ANC support into a ward which the ANC is coveting”.

A week ago about 500 angry community members protested against the move and some blockaded roads with rubbish and burning tyres while others threw stones at police. Several people were arrested for public violence.

Dlamini said the decision to move the residents had been taken by the council and not the ANC.

He conceded there had been insufficient consultation with residents at Chief Albert Luthuli Park, but that the municipality’s hand had been forced by the emergency. He said consultation was currently taking place.

He said 300 families had been moved to the area and that there were 3 180 informal structures that needed to be moved.

Robinson said: “The squatters did not want to be moved. Residents of Chief Albert Luthuli do not want them there as the existing infrastructure is inadequate to deal with 3 000 extra residents and home owners are claiming that their property values are being negatively affected.”

The Sowetan newspaper reported on Friday that Ekurhuleni mayor Mondli Gungubele was booed by Chief Albert Luthuli Park residents when he tried to address them last week.

According to the Sowetan the Luthuli flagship project is one of only three in the country. In terms of an agreement among home owners, Absa, the municipality and the Gauteng government, shacks were prohibited.

The newspapers quoted several residents as being dissatisfied over the establishment of the shacks by Bapsfontein residents.

Robinson said the DA had appealed to authorities to relocate Bapsfontein residents more than five years ago, but that nothing was done.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.