Tempers fray at meeting

2015-09-16 06:00
FUMING residents from Jacksonville near Roodepan were warned by the speaker of Sol Plaatje against illegal occupation of land earmarked for development. Pictured above is Anthony Leeu faced by Jerome Leshou and the speaker, Mangaliso Matika.

FUMING residents from Jacksonville near Roodepan were warned by the speaker of Sol Plaatje against illegal occupation of land earmarked for development. Pictured above is Anthony Leeu faced by Jerome Leshou and the speaker, Mangaliso Matika.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

THE delegation of the Sol Plaatje Municipality, including the speaker, Mangaliso Matika, repeatedly had to call the fuming residents of Jacksonville to order when they addressed a meeting, warning the residents against the illegal occupation of land that was earmarked for development.

The residents started grabbing land last weekend after reportedly being given the go-ahead by their ward councillor, Dennis Pienaar.

The speaker called a community meeting on Friday (11/09), aimed at finding a suitable solution for the land grab issue.

The speaker was at some point interrupted by a resident who shouted: “Do not speak nonsense, where are we supposed to go from here. We live like a bunch of birds in small houses, we also want houses like the residents of Galeshewe.”

Finger pointing was the order of the day as residents, who all claim to be behind their councillor, tried to justify why they had decided to put up shacks on the land they have been occupying.

They believe the land belongs to them after they were given the go-ahead by Pienaar with a promise to fast-track development.

On the day of the meeting Pienaar, who was reportedly informed about the meeting, was not available to answer for his actions, but was on an an errand in Platfontein.

The residents further complained that they are the forgotten cousins of the Northern Cape, because illegal shacks were erected in areas like Colville and Homevale, and are erected on a regular basis in Galeshewe.

They said that they did not know what the criteria were that were used to allocate land and houses.

The situation led to Matika giving the land grabbers until Sunday (13/09) to remove their shacks as instructed or face the bulldozers. He instructed them to follow the proper channels of registering on the housing waiting list Xwhich they claimed did not work for them X and to wait for their turn to get land.

Pleading with the residents to work with him before action is taken against them, Matika emphasised that their concerns of overcrowding, unemployment and being backyard dwellers were taken into consideration.

“But this is illegal because no ward councillor, has the right to issue land. That is misconduct because he is misleading you. There are relevant departments and channels to follow.

“If he was honest with you he would be here,” emphasised Matika.

Matika lashed out at Pienaar for lying and said his day would come to face the might of the law.

“Anyone who does not abide by the South African law should be dealt with.”

Vaughn Settley, who accompanied the speaker, dismissed claims in a daily newspaper last week that Pienaar did not know anything about his ward’s development. “A councillor who states that he is uninformed is telling a lie. They are involved in all processes,” he emphasised.

The speaker further promised to allocate land elsewhere to the dwellers who had already built their shacks after a list of their names had been submitted. The submission was supposed to be made on Monday (14/09) by a select committee.

“It is my responsibility to help you solve this problem. I will attend to all the problems in this area,” he responded to murmurs that Monday was too far.

Settley condemned the residents’ claims that certain people own certain wards and areas. “Land belongs to South Africa and is determined by boundaries. I hate it when people’s feelings are being messed with like now. Promises go with responsibility,” he said.

Emphasising how he has come a long way with the development of the area since its establishment in 1999, he said some people were shot at by the police while protesting. He claimed the area was surveyed in 2002 when a dummy cheque was issued by Pakes Dikgetsi when he was the MEC of CogHSTA.

Elaborating on the allocation of houses and land, he added: “We build houses for the people of Sol Plaatje and operate with a waiting list from which beneficiaries are allocated available land. There are some people who were placed in Galeshewe and other areas around Sol Plaatje because we understand the problem of overcrowding.”

He informed the residents that the housing committee would meet on Friday (18/09) to identify land and to make it available.

“But in an effort to start prioritising on the housing list as stated by the minister of Housing, the disabled, vulnerable and elderly people will get first preference,” he said

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.