Construction halted

2018-03-07 06:00
A last-minute rally to save the Lerato Park road construction project was halted by concerned members of the informal settlement on Tuesday morning (06/03). Addressing residents of Lerato Park is former councillor and concerned resident, Dennis Pienaar (in red).Photo: Boipelo Mere

A last-minute rally to save the Lerato Park road construction project was halted by concerned members of the informal settlement on Tuesday morning (06/03). Addressing residents of Lerato Park is former councillor and concerned resident, Dennis Pienaar (in red).Photo: Boipelo Mere

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A last-minute rally to save the Lerato Park road construction project was halted on Tuesday morning (06/03) by concerned members of this informal settlement.

That is after Lerato Park ward councillor Paul Kock arrived at the construction site with the contractor of Mako­mota and a consultant Godfrey Keoa­gile, with the intention to start working on the controversial Lerato Park road.

Construction of the road was supposed to have started in October 2017.

The construction was however halted by the informal settlement residents who demand better living conditions.

In their protests which saw many being arrested last year, some of the residents illegally occupied the open space reserved for the phase 3 construction that is expected to start later this year.

Kock said the road construction project funds now stands the risk of being redirected to another project while the contractor alone benefits.

The residents of Lerato Park showed division as some accused Kock of mobilising his supporters from the formal housing settlement to attend the emergency meeting that was held at 10:00 on Monday morning (05/03) to give a go-ahead of the project.

“Most of us were not in Monday’s meeting because we were not informed in time about it.

“Today we missed going to work to hear him out. Let him come now and deliver the same speech to see our reaction,” said one concerned community member.

Kock, accompanied by the police and the speaker of the Sol Plaatje Municipality, Sandra Johnson, were left helpless after the majority of the community members agreed in his presence that the project will not proceed until they get response to their proposals of being put in straights.

In her attempt to convince the residents, Johnson tried to explain to them the benefits of fixing the road.

She added that the project at Lerato Park, that comes a long way, stands the possibility of losing out, including other developments.

Johnson elaborated that the illegal land occupiers are slowing development down.

This is due to the land they occupied needing to be surveyed for the phase 3 housing development.

“It is currently difficult for us to survey the land because we are not even aware whether they (the residents of the informal settlement at Lerato Park) are all approved for housing.

“We need to sit down and see whether they really belong there or whether we need to evict them,” said the speaker.

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