Eviction fuels tension

2015-07-29 06:00
ANGRY groups of people and defenceless tenants of the Masimong 4 Estate watch on as non-compliant tenants’ movable property are loaded on a dump truck during the Matjhabeng Local Municipality’s eviction on Wednesday (22/07). The eviction, which was c

ANGRY groups of people and defenceless tenants of the Masimong 4 Estate watch on as non-compliant tenants’ movable property are loaded on a dump truck during the Matjhabeng Local Municipality’s eviction on Wednesday (22/07). The eviction, which was c

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RESIDENTS at the Masimong 4 Estate are defiant in opposing eviction by the Matjhabeng Local Municipality’s Housing Department and its managing agency, Amohelang Property Management.

Their firm stance saw the residents’ committee, made up of nine people representing tenants at the housing complex, filing an urgent interdict in the Welkom Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday (22/07).

Judgement was against the Housing Department, granting residents temporary relief. The interdict prevents the eviction of residents by the Matjhabeng Municipality and Amohelang Property Management, an agency administering the low-cost government housing complex on behalf of the municipality.

The opposing interdicts have fuelled the battle between the Housing Department and the defiant residents identified as defaulters.

The legal teams representing the opposing parties, MB Mogotsi Attorneys (for the Matjhabeng Municipality’s Housing Department) and Peyper Attorneys (representing Masimong residents) are set for round two on 24 August when they will be presenting arguments regarding the residents’ eviction.

The multi-million rand low-cost government housing estate situated at Harmony’s Masimong Mine, about 10 km outside Welkom, has become a war zone with fierce battles between residents and government authorities over evictions. This has seen residents burning tyres and using rubble and stones as a barricade, making entry impossible for municipal authorities.

Disgusted residents have vowed to fight to the bitter end, opposing the eviction issued against them until Matjhabeng’s Housing Department and Amohelang Property Management have reviewed the decision to evict tenants and come clean about rental contracts.

Visibly distressed scores of men and women on Wednesday blamed the chaos on administrative blunders and allegations of corruption arising from political bundling in the low-cost government housing estate.

“It has now been more than five months that the Masimong 4 Estate residents’ grievances and requests have remained unanswered to the minister of Human Settlements to investigate the corruption at Masimong,” said one disgruntled resident.

Aggrieved residents told Express Goldfields andamp; NFS that people working for the government and earning huge salaries were invading the Masimong estate to rent apartments at a monthly rental of R700.

Some residents said their future was gloomy after having received eviction orders last week and following the attachment of their movable properties by the sheriff.

) Read more about the eviction at the Masimong 4 Estate on p 3

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