House dispute goes on

2016-11-16 06:00
The newly-built Lerato Park houses are driving the community apart, as there is unhappiness about the beneficiary list.   Insert: Mangaliso Matika, mayor of Sol Plaatje Local Municipality, denies any knowledge of tampering.  Photos: Boipelo Mere

The newly-built Lerato Park houses are driving the community apart, as there is unhappiness about the beneficiary list. Insert: Mangaliso Matika, mayor of Sol Plaatje Local Municipality, denies any knowledge of tampering. Photos: Boipelo Mere

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The mayor of the Sol Plaatje ­Municipality, Mangaliso Matika, denies having any knowledge ­regarding allegations of the Lerato Park ward councillor, Paul Kock, tampering with the housing beneficiary list.

The newly-built Phase 2 houses in Lerato Park continue to be allocated to some of the shack owners, regardless of the unhappiness among beneficiaries.

Tempers flare as the division caused in the Lerato Park community becomes evident after an effort to gain entry to the Phase 2 housing beneficiary list.

Some beneficiaries, being the concerned group, cry foul after the continuous removal from and replacements of beneficiaries on the list, including the elderly and the disabled.

Thursday’s (10/11) meeting between the Sol Plaatje Human Settlement officials, Speaker Elisabeth Johnson, the concerned group – Community Development Workers (CDW) – and the ward councillor, Paul Kock, whereto the speaker summoned Kock, did not make a difference.

The meeting had to be resche- duled after Matika had reportedly stormed in and stopped it, accusing Johnson of not following protocol in calling the meeting.

The meeting saw at least two taxis dropping off a group of community members, who were accused of being mobilised by the councillor, to disrupt the meeting.

The group, that was denied access into the building by security members, accused the concerned group of having a personal vendeta against the councillor.

Some of them, who also claim to be among the orange number beneficiaries, admitted to being sidelined, but said it was not due to the councillor’s doing.

“We are here to support our councillor. We are aware that the beneficiary list was tempered with, but we do not care whether we stay in the shacks forever or not.

“The concerned group must be dealt with. Kock is the most honest councillor, who knows how to deal with community issues. We are here to support him 101%,” said Kabelo Segame of the supporters group.

Matika, who met with the Lerato Park shack owners on Friday (11/11), said the allegations that the ward councillor had been tampering with the beneficiary list and was allocating new houses, was very serious, as Kock was not entitled to deal with those matters.

“At this stage we can only regard that as allegations, until we meet with all relevant stakeholders like Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (CoGHSTA) and the Sol Plaatje Human Settlement Council to deal with the matter,” said Matika.

He promised to meet with the community of Lerato Park sometime this week to give a report after meeting with the stakeholders.

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