Polokwane municipality removes illegal occupants

2017-07-25 22:30
A torn-down shack. (GroundUp File)

A torn-down shack. (GroundUp File)

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Polokwane – A group of Polokwane shack dwellers were left homeless on Tuesday after the local municipality evicted them from land earmarked for a housing development.

Municipal officials, accompanied by riot police, tore down the shacks and forced people to pack their belongings.

The municipality said there were plans to develop low-cost housing on a portion of the land, next to Nelson Mandela Drive, between Polokwane and Seshego.

The informal settlement is commonly known as Nkandla.

Residents said they had nowhere else to stay and that they occupied the land because it was the only piece of ground available near Polokwane.

Polokwane municipality spokesperson, Matshidiso Mothapo, said they had been talking to residents about the development since 2012.

“We reached a relocation agreement, but we were surprised that some dwellers returned after they relocated.

“We resettled them according to the town plan and so far we have resettled about 1 600. These residents are occupying the land illegally and that’s why we are removing them.”

On Tuesday, armed police and three Nyala vehicles rumbled along the gravel streets in the informal settlement.

Simon Khosa, 56, who is unemployed, said he would move to one of the neighbouring informal settlements.

“I have no place to sleep now,” he said. Khosa said he would have to leave behind his vegetable garden, which he had planted to provide him with food.

Emmanuel Mudzanani, 31, said children who had left for school in the morning would return to ruined homes. “We don’t know how they will locate us when they come back,” he said.

Another resident, Ellaija Davhula, said: “It feels like I will remain homeless. We are trying to build homes, but they destroy our homes. If you don’t have a home there is no hope for your family.”

Read more on:    polokwane  |  housing  |  land

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