Housing development

2017-09-12 06:01

LAND invasions are going to perpetuate anarchy and mayhem if this trend continues. The land grab in certain parts of the province seems to be politically orchestrated.

Leaders who encourage land grabs are creating a false sense of hope among the homeless. It is only the municipality, in collaboration with all role-players, including the shack dwellers, that can charter a way forward to solve the housing crisis. The homeless are fully aware of the wastage, coupled with high levels of corruption in government, which is robbing them of the basic needs in life such as decent accommodation. When citizens are aware of the unrelenting abuse of taxpayers’ money, they have all the right to agitate for and demand service delivery. However, the invasion of municipal and private land is not the answer to solve this multifaceted challenge.

Land earmarked for housing development must be allowed to continue. Shack dwellers who are allocated houses need to be monitored to ensure they are not renting them out. The voters’ role, together with people’s identity numbers, need to be used in the allocation of houses. A data base of the beneficiaries of the homes needs to be compiled. Anyone found renting out their homes must be charged. This could be one way of curtailing the shack lords.

Every person needs a roof over his or her head as this provides dignity to people. The fight for shelter needs to be fought strategically. Turning the issue of housing into a racial or political issue complicates matters.

The focus has to be on when housing developments will commence, the number of units, the projected completion date and ultimately the method used to allocate the units. A memorandum of understanding needs to be fostered among all the shack dwellers so they are aware of all procedures. Ultimately, land invasions are counterproductive, serving only to stifle development.

VIJAY SURUJPAL

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