Budget enrages residents

2017-12-06 06:01
For residents from Lerato Park, there is no turning back – they want to be put in straight lines. They expressed their grievances on Monday (04/11) when they barricaded Barkly Road. Photos: Boipelo Mere

For residents from Lerato Park, there is no turning back – they want to be put in straight lines. They expressed their grievances on Monday (04/11) when they barricaded Barkly Road. Photos: Boipelo Mere

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The Barkly Road entrance to Kimberley was barricaded in the early hours of Monday (04/12) by disgruntled Lerato Park residents who threaten to hinder the Lerato Park tar road project that was expected to commence on Tuesday (05/12).

They were shocked to hear the announcement by ward councillor Paul Kok during a community meeting that a budget had been allocated to fix the road.

The angry residents from the informal settlement wants the money re-directed towards service delivery in their area.

They barricaded the road with tree stumps, burning tyres, faeces and rocks.

Motorists were intimidated and chase to use alternative entries into the city.

According to residents, the allocation of permanent residential areas is the only solution to the endless housing beneficiary list problems and issues with the service delivery process.

The residents feel insulted that another budget has been allocated to fix the road while they have been living under inhuman conditions for far over 20 years.

They claim they are sick and tired of sitting and waiting while their councillor picks out his friends and colleagues to move into the houses while they are moved on and off the waiting lists.

“We were all registered on the beneficiary list of the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), but some of us appear on the list and some of us don’t,” one resident said.

When the speaker of the Sol Plaatje Municipality, Elizabeth Johnson, met them to accept their memorandum of grievances, she was stopped when she tried to explain the relevance of fixing the road and why they cannot all benefit from houses.

Johnson tried to seek answers as to who had changed the list and explained the processes of the government subsidised housing system, the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (Flisp).

The residents said they have exhausted all efforts, being engaged with Coghsta and the municipality.

“We have done our research already and that is the way to go.

“We are not listening anymore to stories.

“We are not going to entertain the story of the list, because it is a secon­dary process and an old administrative story.

“Put us in straight lines first, give us sanitation, water and lights and then we can wait.

“That way no one will be treated as beggars who first have to get into the councillor’s good books in order to get a house,” said one of the residents, Fana Louw.

Louw said in this way everyone who can afford to build his own house would build it, and those who use Flisp would apply for it while living on their own land.

The residents agreed to form a team once more to engage with the Sol Plaatje Municipality and Coghsta on several issues.

“But we will not be moved or redirected from wanting to be allocated permanent stands.

“We will spend the whole night on this road in a fight to get permanent residential land,” shouted another angry resident.

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