Bekkersdal housing dispute settled

2014-06-24 05:00
Tyres are burnt in Bekkersdal during a service delivery protest. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Tyres are burnt in Bekkersdal during a service delivery protest. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - A dispute over the allocation of 1 000 houses in Botlhabela Borwa, Bekkersdal, was settled on Monday, the Gauteng human settlements department said.

The agreement, brokered by MEC Jacob Mamabolo, was between the Greater Westonaria Concerned Residents Association (GWCRA) and the Westonaria District Municipality, spokesperson Motsamai Motlhaolwa said in a statement.

"This flagship housing development is one of the high priority mixed housing projects in the area."

House allocation in the area was stalled following a court interdict by the GWCRA disputing the validity of the beneficiary list.

Mamabolo said: "The agreement is in the interest of the community and the people of Westonaria. It is part of our efforts to restore peace and stability in Bekkersdal.

"It has averted what could have become a long standing court battle which could have taken a long time to resolve and negatively affected the residents, who have been waiting for houses for a very long time."

As part of the agreement, an independent audit firm would be appointed to verify the beneficiary list.

"The auditing firm will not deviate and will use government policies to ascertain who qualifies for the houses," the MEC said.

The appointed firm would be given three months to complete and finalise the list.

Mamabolo said he would continue to engage with the GWCRA on other matters affecting the area.

Wonder Modise, secretary of the GWCRA, said the agreement showed the organisation was not about protest action but rather improving service delivery.

Thabo Ndlovu, municipal manager for the municipality, hoped it was the beginning of a new trend in GWCRA and municipality relations on service delivery.

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