‘We will build shacks on vacant land’

2010-04-14 16:06

Residents of Soweto who are demanding houses are threatening to erect shacks in and around Soweto if their demands are not met.

About 600 members of the 1996-2000 Housing Waiting Committee marched to the Johannesburg offices of the Department of Human Settlement in Gauteng today to hand over their memorandum of demands.

Chairperson Bongani Nkosi said they get the impression that people who stay in shacks are taken seriously “so we will also build shacks and move there”.

Acting chief operations officer of the department, Bongani More, said: “In Gauteng we have all these issues all the time and we attend to all of them. There is a particular programme outlined for houses and we are going to follow that programme in terms of allocation.”

More said the department would attend to these issues within the 14 days stipulated in the memorandum.

Members of the 1996-2000 Housing Waiting Committee were involved in an illegal protest last month. They blockaded Impala Road to try and get the department’s attention.

They claim that they registered for RDP houses as far back as 1996 and that they are being sidelined. “We live in backrooms, hence nobody notices us,” said Nkosi.

They also accuse those in charge of allocating houses in a corrupt manner. “We have tangible proof,” shouted an elderly lady at More when he accepted the memorandum.

The peaceful march ended within 40 minutes and the crowd dispersed in song.

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