Situation ‘inhumane’

2015-08-26 06:01
FROM the left are Kgoši Setlamorago Thobejane, chairperson of the Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings, Jihad Mohapi, ANC member of the committee, and Vusi Tshabalala, the executive mayor of the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality

FROM the left are Kgoši Setlamorago Thobejane, chairperson of the Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings, Jihad Mohapi, ANC member of the committee, and Vusi Tshabalala, the executive mayor of the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality

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PHUTHADITJHABA. – A year after about 200 families had been left homeless following the eviction of residents of the Bokamoso informal settlement near the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Qwaqwa Campus, the Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings has concluded an inspection in relation to a petition by villagers who alleged they had been illegally evicted by the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality (MaP).

Some of the families who were evicted were placed in shacks at Bluegumbosch by the local municipality.

The committee recently visited the area to oversee the situation and it was not happy with the living conditions of those who had been evicted.

It described the living conditions as inhumane.

The committee is concerned about the living conditions, past and present, of the evicted community members.

“We are concerned that in evicting the community from the contested site, the municipality did not find suitable alternative accommodation, leading to the inhumane sharing of a small hall by many families,” said Kgoši Setlamorago Thobejane, chairperson of the committee.

“The breaking up of families by designating halls based on gender is also a concern.

“The sites that some of the families have been relocated to lack basic services such as water and sanitation,” Setlamorago said.

The MaP was called upon to redouble its efforts to ensure that basic services reached all residents.

“We believe that this inspection has empowered us to consider the petition by the community of Bokamoso from an informed position, which will enable the committee to make sound recommendations to parliament for adoption and implementation.”

The committee cautioned citizens against the illegal occupation of land, as this hampers planning and development.

Setlamorago warned community members to stop occupying the municipality’s land illegally, as that did not end well.

“We want our people to stop the illegal occupation of land.

“They should follow the right procedure when they need land.

“We have now realised that our people want land.

“We will make sure that we report to parliament to see what we can do for our people,” Setlamorago assured.

Vusi Tshabalala, executive mayor of the MaP, said they had not illegally evicted the people.

“I don’t have anything to say. We had the eviction order and we followed it. That’s all,” he said

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