Illegal structures to be demolished

2018-10-26 06:01
PHOTO: siphelele nketoThe structures in Marikana, Kokstad, which are said to be illegal.

PHOTO: siphelele nketoThe structures in Marikana, Kokstad, which are said to be illegal.

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RESIDENTS of Marikana informal settlement in Kokstad, who were given letters to remove their structures by the Greater Kokstad Municipality, have pleaded with the municipality to reverse the decision until they get proper places to live.

Some were given notices to remove their structures within 14 days, failing which, the municipality will take legal action.

A letter which was shown to Fever by one of the residents was dated October 9, 2018, and it informed residents about the illegal structures on municipal owned land.

The letter further warned residents who refused to comply with the instruction that legal action would be taken against them and their structures will be demolished.

Local resident Khuselwa Majova has been staying in the area since last year.

She said she started by erecting a one-room shack and then built a three-room structure.

She is now staying with her child.

“I received a notice to remove my structure within 14 days and I am worried because there is no other place that I can lay my head,” she said.

Another resident, Siziwe Nyangini, said she also received a notice to remove her structure.

“I built a mud structure because it is not safe to stay in a shack,” she said.

Residents said they were looking forward to the municipality connecting electricity in their area instead of serving them notices to remove structures. They said they built mud structures because shacks can catch fire.

“When President Cyril Ramaphosa and his deputy, David Mabuza, were in Kokstad recently, we hoped for better things in Kokstad but the municipality is threatening residents with the demolition of their structures, which is not right because these residents cannot afford to pay rent or build proper houses,” said Buyiswa Madanana, a community leader in the area.

She said most residents depend on social grants.

Greater Kokstad Municipal spokesperson Nthabeleng Matshoba confirmed that letters were issued to residents who built structures on the municipal owned land illegally and are in contravention of the National Building Act and Building Standards of 1977.

“The municipality has tried to prevent residents from building structures in the area.

Several meetings were held with illegal land occupants where a local councillor, municipal manager and officials told residents about plans for rental housing stock.

“This will be done through the proposed community residential development of 300 units and the Shayamoya Phase 3, which is estimated to be 700 units,” said Matshoba.

She also said that the majority of Marikana residents are property owners of RDP houses in Shayamoya and Horseshoe, and the municipality will continue with legal action against individuals who have been served with letters instructing them to demolish the illegal structures.

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