Illegal settlements ‘hamper development’

2011-08-17 07:13

Illegal settlements are disrupting community development plans for Joburg, the city council has said.

“Thousands of rands have been spent in legal fees to evict illegal occupants and demolish illegal structures,” City of Johannesburg Property Company (JPC) executive manager Mlungisi Shongwe said.

He told The Times the procedures required to obtain court orders to evict people and demolish structures cost over R50 000 per case.

“More often than not, these costs are unrecoverable [sic] from the very illegal squatters because they do not have any money to pay council.”

He said land that was earmarked for construction of a community health centre in Dobsonville, Soweto, was recently occupied.

“The development has been delayed due to the legal process required to evict and demolish illegal occupants and structures.”

The JPC was recently granted a court order to evict and demolish illegal structures in the city that did not follow due process as required by the Municipal Finance Management Act.

“In most we have been awarded costs and in others the legal process is not complete as occupants have lodged appeals against the city,” Shongwe said.

The JPC is a City of Johannesburg affiliate that aims to enhance socioeconomic benefits to Joburg through effective management of social, recreational and commercial land.

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