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.

Read more on:    mechem  |  health and safety  |  housing

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

Investment tips you need to know 2015-01-29 14:07

Ever wondered how to assess your future potential liability? Feroz Basa, Senior Portfolio Manager Old Mutual Investment Group, weighs in on all the investment tips you need to know. WATCH.


Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]


Something may come back into focus. You may get a second chance to say what needs to be said. The important focus today is to not...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.