Squatters to be moved from danger

2011-08-25 07:41

Pretoria - Illegal squatters at a munition-littered zone in Atteridgeville will soon be moved to another area near Pretoria, the City of Tshwane said on Wednesday.

"We are in the process of moving them. It will happen in phases, as soon as possible. We can't afford to keep these people there. We don't want to put their lives in danger," said city spokesperson Brenda Mpitsang.

The Times newspaper reported on Wednesday that the city had rejected a proposal by demining company Mechem in 2008 to clear the area, used as a shooting range during the Second World War.

Mechem is owned by state arms manufacturer Denel.

Exploding ammunition

Squatters in the area have in recent years been reportedly killed or maimed by exploding ammunition. In 2008, 37-year-old Amos Khoza and his 4-year-old son Njabulo were killed when a mortar shell exploded at their home after they lit a bonfire in their yard.

It is estimated that about 10 tons of ammunition - including mortar shells, mines, tank shells, hand-grenades and bullets - were dumped in trenches in what was known as the Schurveberg artillery range in the 1940s.

Mpitsang acknowledged that the area was declared dangerous and uninhabitable since it was handed over to the city in 1991 by the then defence force, but said clearing the area was too costly.

"The first option was to make it habitable but the amount which Mechem's proposed to clear the area was too high," said Mpitsang.

"The city was using its discretion... instead of putting a lot of money towards clearing the area, we opted to use it to develop the other area where residents would be relocated."

Mpitsang said this was the second group of squatters to invade the site.

Although the first group of squatters was relocated to nearby Lotus Gardens in 2008, the area has not been fenced off and no danger signs have been erected.

Mpitsang insisted the city would do so once people had been relocated.

An alternative area had been identified. She could not disclose where residents would be resettled for fears that the site would be invaded.

  • Komasa - 2011-08-25 08:01

    Should the british government not pay Mechem to clean that area?

      VELOCITY - 2011-08-25 09:11

      What's the British got to do with this?

      Hamrammr - 2011-08-25 09:35

      @Velocity, South Africa was a dominion of Britain and was known as the Union of South Africa. Only in 1961 did we gain independence when South Africa became an independent republic.

      Shadoz - 2011-08-25 09:45

      well my dear Komasa if it wern't for the British we would all be speaking German and black people wouldn't be around as Hitlers plan was to iradicate everyone that was not a master race. so shut the hell up.

      VELOCITY - 2011-08-25 09:56

      Hamram, does that mean the British are responsible for apartheid then? I mean it could only be them according to you since apartheid started way before 1961? Would be lekka if we could blame everything that's wrong with this country before 1961 on the British hey? Like uncle Bob up North.

      Hamrammr - 2011-08-25 10:11

      @Velocity, No I'm not blaming them I only answered your question. I do not agree with Komasa in general on his comments however Britain has a history of causing problems in foreign countries only to withdraw later on and leave the locals with a lot of unsolved problems. Yes Apartheid started in 1948 and was a good policy in theory. Most cultures were given their own spaces to develop in but the implementation of it was flawed to the extend that these homelands were not populated and developed as was anticipated. Apartheid would be the ultimate solution for us today where everyone gets granted their own space to develop economically as well as culturally. Not very politically correct but it is the honest truth...

      SeJouSe - 2011-08-25 13:24

      HMMM! The British eradicated half my "BOER" family on both my parents side. Do I hate the Brits...................?

  • DesertConvert - 2011-08-25 08:21

    Many areas have been left as non-residential by municipalities for a reason. Andditional examples would be the areas next to the Jukskei River, or other low lying areas in the Cape. EVERY year these areas are flooded, "homes" are washed away and the residents are up in arms over why the municipalities are not doing anything for them. Does anybody learn from this?

  • Ridah Booley - 2011-08-25 08:25

    ermmm... using tax payers cash to move em? They ILLEGAL settlers!!!!

      Darter - 2011-08-25 08:58

      It will be your same tax payers money which will go towards treating anyone that gets injured by one of these explosives. Either way you're going to pay....

      Zondo - 2011-08-25 09:30

      They are tax payers as they using their own money!!

      Shadoz - 2011-08-25 09:51

      Zondo please don't fool yourself paying VAT is not considered really paying tax. At the end of every month my paycheck gets taxed like no tomorrow oh and i pay VAT and UIF and once a year i pay road taxes the list just goes on.

      Zondo - 2011-08-26 15:40

      @Shados... Why is it called Value Added TAX??? Paying UIF and etc doesn't make you special or a superior citizen of South Africa. Govt is supposed to care for the poor and its doing that... So shut up and PAY AS YOU EARN!

  • PlainTruth - 2011-08-25 08:27

    They are illegally there, and of their own choice. Leave them there. Let them face the consequences if something happens. It will be a good thing

      lungelo mpatho - 2011-08-25 08:41

      u r evil. uncolile!

      Grimaldi - 2011-08-25 09:56

      Maybe good idea to dump all the rest of the unused mines and boms they still have leftover from SANDF days then blow the whole lot up in one go and fill it with water and you will have another Silver Lakes or something to turn into a Golf Estate.

  • kalabafazi - 2011-08-25 08:31

    It appears that the Goverment would rather not use tax payers money to clear the area. Apparently the cost of human lives is cheaper. They should at least have put up warning signs and fenced off the area.

      Playnice - 2011-08-25 08:52

      Since when has a fence or sign stopped people invading land that does not belong to them

      kalabafazi - 2011-08-25 09:02

      True Playnice, but at least they have then been warned. There are hoever to problems to this. 1- Most of the people are illiterate and 2- the fence would have in all likely hood been stolen.

      O-Kay - 2011-08-25 09:09

      @kalabafazi, When the first people/person died, and they were made aware that they had squatted on an old shooting range, and that there were likely to be further deaths, why did they not 'think' for themselves and move. Don't always try to lay the blame on others, typical!

      Bloodstone - 2011-08-25 09:21

      Kalabafazi, to quote you: "use tax payers money to clear the area." I paid R312,200 tax last year, how much did you pay? I know the area, it used to be fenced off, but alas...yes you guessed it, the squatters stole the fence! And expecting the Government to do anything? Please, you live in a dream world! It is illegal to squat illegally, it is illegal to rob get the picture moron?

  • Vullis - 2011-08-25 08:32

    They don't need Shacks, They need houses. That R16 Million house of Malema can give quite a few families houses worth R500K each.

  • sipholess - 2011-08-25 08:56

    Why move them at all !!!!! Bang........bang...............bang.........bang......bang.

      Currie_Mafia - 2011-08-25 09:03

      Proof again, why bestiality is a crime...

      Komasa - 2011-08-25 09:16

      Agree @Curry_Mafia but as far as 'sipholess' and 'plaintruth' are concerned everyone else is the idiot.

  • VELOCITY - 2011-08-25 09:16

    They stay, they get blown up and blame apartheid and the white man for it. Try to move them and they will riot, blaming apartheid, the white man, government and everybody else but themselves for their lot. Isn't this fun!

  • Kleinjan - 2011-08-25 10:36

    Stop picking up blinds to sell as scrap metal!

  • CPII - 2011-08-26 08:45

    Gives a new meaning to squating LOL. Don't squat too near to the ground, your next fart may just kill you :)

  • mark.vanvuuren.790 - 2012-07-30 09:45

    Perhaps Malema can have a rally there.

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